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Re: [Bug 7509] Consider <dl type="dialog"> instead of <dialog>

From: Leif Halvard Silli <xn--mlform-iua@xn--mlform-iua.no>
Date: Thu, 10 Sep 2009 21:17:09 +0200
Message-ID: <4AA950B5.3000806@xn--mlform-iua.no>
To: Anne van Kesteren <annevk@opera.com>
CC: Olivier GENDRIN <olivier.gendrin@gmail.com>, Toby Inkster <tai@g5n.co.uk>, HTML WG <public-html@w3.org>
Anne van Kesteren On 09-09-10 10.23:

> On Thu, 10 Sep 2009 10:18:16 +0200, Olivier GENDRIN  
> <olivier.gendrin@gmail.com> wrote:
>> On Wed, Sep 9, 2009 at 11:40 PM, Toby Inkster <tai@g5n.co.uk> wrote:
>>> This is quite different to a definition list. "Toby Inkster" isn't the
>>> definition of "Name"; if anything it's the other way around: "Name" is  
>>> the
>>> definition of "Toby Inkster". <dl> lists like this seem to be pretty  
>>> common.
>> I uses <dfn> for such structures : <li><dfn>Name:</dfn> Toby
>> Inkster</li>, perhaps that <dl> should not be used at all for this...
> 
> HTML5 suggests you can use <dl> but have to use <dfn> inside <dt> if you  
> want to define the term. (See the last example for the <dl> element.)


Many do not grasp why you should add a <dfn> inside the <dt> when 
the <dl> itself is known as a "definition list". And, it would be 
great if indeed, it generally wasn't necessary ...

Also, consider the use case that you have 
<dt><dfn>Term</dfn></dt>. In addition, outside the <dl>, you have 
<p><dfn>Term/dfn> ... </p>, describing one - and only one - of the 
words in the glossary. Suddenly we apparently have two defining 
instances of the same term. This would be an error, currently.

Thus the purpose of using <dfn> inside <dl> should be altered:

  * it ought not be forbidden to define a word both in a glossary 
and in nearby text.
  * it ought not to be necessary to use <dfn> in a <dl> glossary - 
not _unless_  the <dt> contains "superfluous" info beside the 
defined term. Then the <dfn> would play the role of pin pointing 
the exact word that is being defined. Example:

   <dt>Yes<dd>Affirmative word.
   <dt><dfn>Yes</dfn>, pop music<dd>Name of a pop group

For dialog lists, the <cite> element could play the same role:

   <dl role="dialog">
     <dt>Yes
         <dd>We are the pop group «Yes».
     <dt><cite>Mr Pi</cite>, manager
         <dd>And I am their manager</dl>

I imagine that the same model could be used for creating other 
special cased lists. For example Toby mentioned "timeline" as a 
special kind of list [1]. I imagine <time> could be used to 
pinpoint time points in such lists:

   <dl role="time">
     <dt>1998
         <dd>HTML 4 was ready
     <dt><time>1999</time> - or there about
         <dd>XML was ready</dl>

If we have a list of abbreviations:

   <dl role="abbr">
     <dt>W3
         <dd>World Wide Web
     <dt><abbr>abbr</abbr>, in HTML
         <dd>Name of the element for abbreviations</dl>

If the list define the meaning of some codes ...

   <dl role="code">
     <dt>p
         <dd>Name of the paragraph element in HTML
     <dt><code>p</code>, in XHTML
         <dd>Name of the paragraph element in XHTML</dl>

You get he picture.

[1] 
http://www.w3.org/mid/E30AA213-4663-4AEC-B7DD-2D4C8C42B2E6@g5n.co.uk
-- 
leif halvard silli
Received on Thursday, 10 September 2009 19:17:50 UTC

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