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class use (notional vs. blindless grouping)

From: Al Gilman <asgilman@iamdigex.net>
Date: Sat, 11 Aug 2001 10:47:47 -0400
Message-Id: <200108111430.KAA5059157@smtp2.mail.iamworld.net>
To: w3c-wai-gl@w3.org

Is there an action team in the HTML+CSS techniques area working on
materials to instruct people in the use of class marks?

I would like to suggest a change in the existing example 



where it shows

   <LI class="newbullet">Roth IRA <SPAN class="newtext">New</SPAN></LI>
   <LI> 401(k)</LI>

I would suggest instead it read

   <LI class="new">Roth IRA <SPAN class="new">New</SPAN></LI>

The fact that the LI takes a bullet is implied by its context within the UL.

The rule that applies a bullet to the LI does so because of the UL and the
LI, not the class.  The function of the class mark in this rule is to
distinguish those LIs that are new from those that are not.  The rule can
and will say it only applies to LIs in ULs anyway.  This status of newness
determines the choice of bullet; but it does not determine the presence or
absence of a bullet.

Likewise the style rule that applied 'new' styling to the text in this SPAN
knows it is applying text formatting because the formatting properties for
which it sets values apply just to text.  "New" is all the extra
information that the style rule needs, in order to know inside which SPANs
to apply these effects to text.

In this case there is a direct and compelling mapping to Tim's language of
"write what you mean, not what to do with it."   The "what you mean" is
'new' and "what to do with it" is 'newbullet.'  So let's fix our examples
if we wish others to understand what they should do.


PS:  I had started out to turn this into an example with lists of
classmarks to show multiple category membership.  But on closer
examination, the other categories are redundant with the already understood
nature of the content and markup, so are dilatory and not good practice.
It is going to be important to show multi-class-mark examples so people
understand that they should factor the marking into notional primitives,
not one mark per style. 
Received on Saturday, 11 August 2001 10:30:46 UTC

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