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Re: Bug 8404 -- taking it to the lists

From: Leif Halvard Silli <xn--mlform-iua@xn--mlform-iua.no>
Date: Tue, 1 Dec 2009 19:06:05 +0100
To: "Tab Atkins Jr." <jackalmage@gmail.com>
Cc: Nick Fitzsimons <nick@nickfitz.co.uk>, Laura Carlson <laura.lee.carlson@gmail.com>, Michael(tm) Smith <mike@w3.org>, Shelley Powers <shelley.just@gmail.com>, HTMLWG WG <public-html@w3.org>
Message-ID: <20091201190605819527.5bfbe99b@xn--mlform-iua.no>
Tab Atkins Jr., Tue, 1 Dec 2009 11:26:30 -0600:
> On Tue, Dec 1, 2009 at 11:19 AM, Nick Fitzsimons wrote:
>> 2009/12/1 Tab Atkins Jr.:
>>> On Tue, Dec 1, 2009 at 10:51 AM, Nick Fitzsimons :
>>>> Even though a graphic
>>>> designer specifies the same fonts and so forth for the captioning of
>>>> both figures and tables, that doesn't make them semantically
>>>> equivalent.
>>> 
>>> True, it's not an automatic equivalence.  It is, however, a strong
>>> indication of such.  It also indicates that slicing the semantics any
>>> thinner than that may be counterproductive - if designers aren't
>>> currently making any effective distinction between them, what makes
>>> you think they *want* to make such a distinction in HTML?

I think we have good evidence for that designers differentiate tables, 
figures and examples - to again hint to the Java book I mentioned. The 
common denominator in all these cases, however is the very caption - 
/that/ one ought to be the same for all elements, if possible.

>>>  Styling is
>>> often a *very* good indication of the granularity of classification
>>> for the average person, and it's a mistake to go strongly against this
>>> unless there are strong technical reasons for doing so.

That they all are styled the same way with regard to their caption, is 
perhaps a sign that we can make a broad classification for captions.

>> 
>> Why should the specification only consider what visual designers want
>> or will use?
> 
> They shouldn't *only* consider such things.  But the needs of visual
> designers are very important, [ snip snip snip]

I am not sure how exactly <figure> (rather than what?) particular help 
to visual designers.

But I am also not sure what concrete Nick had in mind with his hint 
about finer granulation.

>> I can think of a number of scenarios where a granularity
>> of classification much finer than that required for visual
>> presentation is needed. Extracting data from HTML for incorporation in
>> other resources, and meeting the needs of assistive technologies to
>> present a summary of a document's structure, are two that spring
>> immediately to mind.
> 
> Sure, in some cases it is indeed required.  In most cases it is not,
> and one should always *endeavor* to make any distinctions obvious,
> hopefully in a visual manner, to maximize the chances that they'll be
> used correctly.

One could claim that <figure> is too much granularity. As Nick said, it 
means that authors must rethink what a caption is.
-- 
leif halvard silli
Received on Tuesday, 1 December 2009 18:06:42 UTC

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