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Re: what is dt?

From: Leif Halvard Silli <xn--mlform-iua@xn--mlform-iua.no>
Date: Mon, 21 Sep 2009 18:34:03 +0200
Message-ID: <4AB7AAFB.9060503@xn--mlform-iua.no>
To: Lars Gunther <gunther@keryx.se>
CC: public-html@w3.org
Lars Gunther On 09-09-20 21.58:

> 2009-09-20 10:55, Smylers skrev:
>> For people completely new to HTML having lots of almost-synonymous
>> elements but which each can only be used in specific circumstances (and
>> it being arbitrary which name happens to be used in which place) may
>> well be more confusing than a single element with the same meaning
>> everywhere.



> Yes, I would love to reduce the number of synonym elements as well, but:
> 
> It seems to me that what you are describing ("a single element with the 
> same meaning") is exactly the opposite of what it would be to use dt-dl 
> in figure. Since the meaning WILL NOT be the same as it is in <dl>. And 
> as I've stated elsewhere, in <dl> the order is all important, here it 
> would not matter.
> 
> Re-using dl-dt means not only giving the elements new meaning, despite 
> having the same names (confusion #1) but also different syntactic rules 
> (confusion #2).

Indeed. The figure/details meaning of dt/dd is slapping the HTML 5 
purist interpretation of what a <dl> list is, in the face.

> Restricting <rubric> to <figure> (and perhaps details) is in itself no 
> harder than restricting <caption> to tables. If that is too confusing we 
> can use <figcap> or something like that.

If we go for a new, universal element that is usable in several 
elements, then I would, again, suggest <CONTEXT>. Because the 
purpose of a caption is to aid in the interpretation of the 
content that is being presented. As a demonstration, lets replace 
<caption> with <context> in the HTML5 draft's caption example [1]:

<context>
<p>Table 1.
<p>This table shows the total score obtained from rolling two
six-sided dice. The first row represents the value of the first 
die, the first column the value of the second die. The total is 
given in the cell that corresponds to the values of the two dice.
</context>

> Yes, re-using <legend> or <caption> would have been WAY much better. But 
> since that is not an option the current discussion seem to be about 
> dl-dt or some new element(s).
>

> But as has been proven dt-dd is not backwards compatible either. I can 
> not think that anyone is seriously considering an alternative that would 
> only work using hacks with conditional comments!


Most of HTML 5's new elements were conceived /before/ Ian became 
aware of the so called "HTML 5 shiv" [2]. Thus, it seems like the 
use of wrappers was never out of question w.r.t. to legacy 
support. And this new hack is just a variant of a regular wrapper 
hack. Besides, wrappers, including this one, can be scripted.

That said, if we - in line with the design principles - drop the 
purist idea that a DL must be a key/value list etc, then we could 
define the use of a wrapper as the norm.

E.g we could generalize Gregory's proposal about using a <d> 
element both for dialog phrases, and as a wrapper around <dl> to 
signal that the <dl> contains a dialog[3],

      <d><dl><dt>Lars<dd>But has been proven ...</dl></d>

and do the same for figure:

<figure><dl><dt>term</dt><dd>definition</dd></dl></figure>

We could extend the idea to <cite>, <dfn>, <abbr>, <time> etc too:

    <dfn><dl><dt>Term<dd>Word designating something</dl></dfn>
   <time><dl><dt>14:05<dd>On the bus<dt>14:35<dd>Home</dl></time>

Applying the simple hack, we can however also safely do this[4]:

      <d><dt>Lars<dd>But has been proven ...</d>
<figure><dt>term</dt><dd>definition</dd></figure>
    <dfn><dt>Term<dd>Word designating something</dfn>
   <time><dt>14:05<dd>On the bus<dt>14:35<dd>Home</time>

I'm not sure what would be simplest for authors - always wrapping 
the <dl> in a semantic wrapper, or directly using the semantic 
wrapper. What do you think they find simplest?

But I am sure that in all these cases, the <dt> _must_ come before 
the <dd> element.

[1] http://dev.w3.org/html5/spec/tabular-data#the-caption-element
[2] http://ejohn.org/blog/html5-shiv/
[3] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/wai-xtech/2009Sep/0064
[4] http://målform.no/html5/figure,dt,dl,object-hack
-- 
leif halvard silli
Received on Monday, 21 September 2009 16:34:46 UTC

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