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Re: what is dt?

From: Shelley Powers <shelleyp@burningbird.net>
Date: Tue, 15 Sep 2009 16:07:15 -0500
Message-ID: <4AB00203.6030703@burningbird.net>
To: Jeremy Keith <jeremy@adactio.com>
CC: Smylers@stripey.com, public-html@w3.org
Jeremy Keith wrote:
> Shelley asked:
>> For the past ten years or so, dl, dt, and dd have been defined within 
>> the context of a definition list. People may have used them for other 
>> things, but no where has there been even a hint that such use was 
>> "acceptable" or appropriate.
>
> The HTML 4 spec gives more than a hint, advising authors (incorrectly) 
> to use dl, dt and dd for dialogues.
> http://www.w3.org/TR/html401/struct/lists.html#edef-DL
>
> "Another application of DL, for example, is for marking up dialogues, 
> with each DT naming a speaker, and each DD containing his or her words."
>

Yup, and I could live with the continued use for dialog of these 
elements because of the existing usage. Not ideal, but workable.

>> But we dropped dialog in favor of paragraph elements, and using bold 
>> <b> for the person ....(!?)
>
> I concur completely with both your exclamation point and your question 
> mark. It's nutty advice that will be ignored by authors.
>

Yup.

>> And we've managed to find two new, completely different uses of dt 
>> and dd.
>
> Less than ideal, I agree, but far, far better than using <legend>. 
> Using <dt> is the lesser of 18 evils.
>


I've never liked the use of legend, either, but then I don't agree with 
redefining the semantics of existing elements, period.

Now discussion has already started about the browser default appearance 
of dt and dd, because of the newly redefined use for both. The point is, 
we don't necessarily have to create new elements, neither do we have to 
redefine existing elements.

I refer people to Remy Sharp's look at this topic[1], and his validation 
of label being acceptable. I would rather have caption, but the same 
problem applies: if caption is used out of table, some browsers will 
discard from the DOM.

Then again, what might better is to define a new element, called either 
c, or even "element_caption" that can be used as a caption for it's 
container, without being anchored to a specific element. However, if 
label works, that's so much better.


Shelley

[1] http://remysharp.com/2009/08/12/saving-figure-detail/
Received on Tuesday, 15 September 2009 21:08:04 GMT

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