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Re: what is dt?

From: Shelley Powers <shelleyp@burningbird.net>
Date: Tue, 15 Sep 2009 12:17:44 -0500
Message-ID: <4AAFCC38.5060701@burningbird.net>
To: Smylers@stripey.com, public-html@w3.org
Smylers wrote:
> Shelley Powers writes:
>
>   
>> So now, rather than "dt" being a definition term, it's become, well I
>> don't know what it's become. Something.
>>     
>
> Hi Shelley.  I think in all these cases <dt> is being used to label the
> content in the corresponding <dd>:
>
>   
>> It's used in its previous incarnation, as part of a definition list:
>>
>> <dl>
>> <dt lang="en-US"> <dfn>color</dfn> </dt>
>> <dt lang="en-GB"> <dfn>colour</dfn> </dt>
>> <dd> A sensation which (in humans) derives from the ability of
>> the fine structure of the eye to distinguish three differently
>> filtered analyses of a view. </dd>
>> </dl>
>>     
>
> "color" and "colour" are the labels for that description.
>
> But note that <dt> isn't necessarily a definition list -- it can be used
> for a list of any name-value pairs.
>
>   
>> And now, seemingly, its a part of the so-called "details" element,
>> whose purpose is, well, I'm trying to figure that one out, "The
>> details element represents additional information or controls which
>> the user can obtain on demand", not being particularly helpful.
>>     
>
> It's a way of making additional details about something available to
> users without them necessarily being exposed all the time.  For example
> on your Twitter homepage the sidebar has 'Trending Topics' and
> 'Following', whose contents can be expanded or collapsed.
>
>   
>> I'm assuming its a pure Ajax type thing,
>>     
>
> Not really -- using <details> doesn't require any asynchronicity,
> JavaScript, or XML (though pre-HTML5 implementations obviously need
> JavaScript to achieve the same results as <details> will).
>
>   
>> meant to be exposed when something is clicked.
>>     
>
> Yeah.
>
>   
>> Anyway, dt within details is supposed to provide the summary of the
>> details. So, I guess it's now "definition term" and "details term".
>>     
>
> Again, the <dt> is labelling the content
>
>   
>> Now, dt is used in figure, as caption:
>>
>> <p>In <a href="#l4">listing 4</a> we see the primary core interface
>> API declaration.</p>
>> <figure id="l4">
>> <dt>Listing 4. The primary core interface API declaration.</dt>
>> <dd>
>>  <pre><code>interface PrimaryCore {
>>  boolean verifyDataLine();
>>  void sendData(in sequence&lt;byte> data);
>>  void initSelfDestruct();
>> }</code></pre>
>> </dd>
>> </figure>
>> <p>The API is designed to use UTF-8.</p>
>>     
>
> And there the <dt> is labelling the figure, whose contents are in the
> <dd>.
>
>   
>> I guess dt means...actually, I give up. I don't think that dt means
>> anything anymore.
>>     
>
> Having <dt> always label its associated <dd> seems consistent.  The main
> problem is its non-intuitive name (though that's hardly unique among
> HTML elements); all the good names already have other behaviour in
> existing browsers, and it seems folks aren't prepared to wait a few
> years before <details> or <figure> are usable.
>
> Smylers
>
>   
Received on Tuesday, 15 September 2009 17:18:28 UTC

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