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semantic categories and markup

From: Al Gilman <asgilman@iamdigex.net>
Date: Thu, 25 Mar 1999 15:30:24 -0500
Message-Id: <199903252027.PAA636843@relay.interim.iamworld.net>
To: Greg Lowney <greglo@microsoft.com>
Cc: w3c-wai-gl@w3.org, w3c-wai-pf@w3.org
At 08:25 PM 3/8/99 -0800, Greg Lowney wrote in comments on the Web Content
guidelines:

>B.2.9 I still say reserved class names like "nav" are a horrible hack that
>should be replaced by a new attribute. What if you have two different nav
>bars with different styles, such as bars for the first- and second-tier
>tables of contents? Can't do it using these guidelines.

Can we examine this a little more?

Just working up from the concrete to the more general, I don't yet
understand the "Can't do it" comment.  In CSS2 selectors, one can use the
context of occurrence to key style selection as well as attributes.  And
once one marks something with class="nav" they are not prevented from
adding further discriminants such as class="nav,ToC1" vs. class="nav,ToC2"
etc.

Until we get heredity standardized in Web usage, we don't have a
widely-implemented way to say "The designation 'class="ToC"' is a
specialization of the designation 'class="nav"'."  Then we could have
increasing specialization of classes nav, ToC, and ToC1.  But for now we
can accumulate flags to indicate the intersection of classes.

This issue is not going to go away.  There are forever going to be people
who want to make fine distinctions and people who only recognize coarse
distinctions dealing with the same semantic domains.  How can we supply the
Web with the right kind of infrastructure so that it all works despite the
varying granularity of terms of reference?

Al
Received on Thursday, 25 March 1999 15:27:16 GMT

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