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[whatwg] [br] element should not be a line break

From: Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>
Date: Tue, 7 Dec 2010 01:31:31 +0000 (UTC)
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.64.1012070129020.26618@ps20323.dreamhostps.com>
On Thu, 26 Aug 2010, Christoph P?per wrote:
> Ian Hickson:
> > On Wed, 4 Aug 2010, Thomas Koetter wrote:
> >> 
> >> What strikes me though is that according to the spec "The br element 
> >> represents a line break". A *line* break is presentational in nature. 
> >> The break is structural, but restricting it to a certain presentation of 
> >> that break lacks the desired separation of structure and presentation.
> >> 
> >> Wouldn't it make more sense to consider the br element to be just a 
> >> minor logical break inside a paragraph?
> > 
> > Calling it a "line break" doesn't say how it is rendered. It's just a 
> > conceptual description.
> 
> It presupposes the existance of lines, though. Lines are a very visual 
> concept, although they can be applied to oral language, as in poems and 
> songs (where ?//? is often an accepted representation for line breaks in 
> transcripts). An oral line may span several literal lines and vice 
> versa.

Right. This is about "oral" lines (for lack of a better term), not the 
"literal" lines.


> However, I believe the underlying problem is simply that ?line break? is 
> (too) often used and understood as a synonym for ?new line?, at least by 
> non-native speakers. Speaking of breaks on line or paragraph level 
> therefore makes more sense to me.

I don't really understand the difference.


> > (A "minor logical break inside a paragraph" is not generally 
> > represented by a line break, at least not in any typographic 
> > conventions I've seen; usually, in my experience, those are denoted 
> > either using ellipses, em-dashes, or parentheses.)
> 
> That?s true for real paragraphs, but not for most ?non-paragraphic? 
> texts, e.g. addresses.

The lines in an address are separate "oral lines", not "minor logical 
breaks inside a pragraph".

-- 
Ian Hickson               U+1047E                )\._.,--....,'``.    fL
http://ln.hixie.ch/       U+263A                /,   _.. \   _\  ;`._ ,.
Things that are impossible just take longer.   `._.-(,_..'--(,_..'`-.;.'
Received on Monday, 6 December 2010 17:31:31 UTC

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