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Re: ISSUE-95 hidden - Chairs Solicit Proposals

From: Leif Halvard Silli <xn--mlform-iua@xn--mlform-iua.no>
Date: Sat, 30 Jan 2010 00:01:45 +0100
To: "Tab Atkins Jr." <jackalmage@gmail.com>
Cc: Joe D Williams <joedwil@earthlink.net>, Jonas Sicking <jonas@sicking.cc>, public-html@w3.org
Message-ID: <20100130000145634742.eaca493a@xn--mlform-iua.no>
Tab Atkins Jr., Fri, 29 Jan 2010 14:03:54 -0600:
> On Fri, Jan 29, 2010 at 1:47 PM, Leif Halvard Silli:

@declare vs @hidden vs other names

>> (1) Regarding "legacy meaning", then regardless of whether an author
>> has heard about it today, @declare exists in HTML4, and HTML4 is
>> available online and described in thousands of tutorials - for example
>> w3schools.com [1]. By replacing @hidden by @declare, we make HTML5
>> smaller - since it removes @declare from the obsolete features sections.
> 
> That's basically zero benefit.

Disagreement recorded.

>  In the end it's probably negative
> benefit, because <object> has a special (legacy) meaning for @declare
> that other elements won't share.  If @declare on object is changed to
> mean the same thing as @declare on other elements, then there will be
> tutorials on the web talking about the old sense which may be
> confusing.

The only functional difference between HTML4's object@declare and 
HTML5's @declare/@hidden is that an element of the latter kind does not 
_automatically_ become visible if one follows a link to such an 
element. That is: Unless we would change the HTML5 in this regard. 
Since no UAs seems to support @declare the way it is specified in 
HTML4, it should not be very dangerous to change it.
 
>> (2) Regarding "decipher what it does", then I claim that "the vast
>> majority of authors are similar to me" in finding that "hidden" does 
>> [not] make anyone decipher _correctly_ what it means. It is a _feature_
>> that authors has to make some effort in order to understand what it does
>> and means.
> 
> I think that @hidden is a much better description than @declare. 

I repeat (with your words): "the vast majority of authors" finds 
@hidden misleading. But - OK - let us consider your justification:

> What are you declaring?

The element itself. @declare declares that the element is only 
declared. 

> The possibility of confusion with @hidden has been documented,

Indeed. 

> but the error there is relatively small

Depends on what "possibility of confusion" covers.

> - some people may think it hides the element only from visual UAs.
>  That's a problem, but at least their thinking is on the right track.

Since when did it become a positive thing to be misleading? A 
misleading feature can not justifiably be described as possible to 
decipher, but should rather be described as very easy to decipher 
wrongly.

I maintain that it is better - especially with this edgy feature - if 
authors have to acquaint themselves with the feature through 
documentation rather than being mislead by an only seemingly 
transparent name.

I also suppose that the feature is more important than the name. If the 
feature is any useful at all - and supported by UAs, then authors will 
not have any trouble in finding out about it.

>> Thirdly, I think you should consider that we are debating a feature
>> that is proposed to be deleted and that it is could be useful to
>> consider if @declare would have a higher chance of becoming a amicable
>> solution.
> 
> The issue concerning the removal of @hidden has nothing to do with the
> name, though.  It's a philosophical objection.

One of the things I had in mind was strategic: @declare does not go 
away from HTML - it has just been obsoleted. Hence, the prospect for 
the feature, if you would change its name to @declare could - perhaps - 
increase.
-- 
leif halvard silli
Received on Friday, 29 January 2010 23:02:20 GMT

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