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Re: Isn't the word "banner" too presentational and none-semantic?

From: Chaals McCathieNevile <w3b@chaals.com>
Date: Sat, 28 Jul 2012 13:21:31 +0200
Cc: "w3c-wai-ig@w3.org list" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
To: "Russ Weakley" <russ@maxdesign.com.au>, "Ian Yang" <ian@invigoreight.com>
Message-ID: <op.wh5lt5zl22x22q@widsith-3.local>
On Wed, 25 Jul 2012 14:11:12 +0200, Ian Yang <ian@invigoreight.com> wrote:

> On Wed, Jul 25, 2012 at 5:57 PM, Russ Weakley <russ@maxdesign.com.au>  
> wrote:
>> I have always found it makes more sense when "Eric" is added before  
>> this landmark role within the markup.
> What does that mean??

It means Russ (and Patrick) are teasing you. Although I don't think they  
mean to be unkind (they are both very friendly helpful people for the most  

To be serious, there is a problem we often face in making standards.  
Choosing teh wrong name for something means people misunderstand it and so  
mis-use it. That can be very expensive. The "blur" event got its name  
because blur is the opposite of focus in certain contexts. But for many  
people it was apparently confusing.

On the one hand, this suggests we should be thoughtful with the names we  
use for things. On the other hand, there are limits to how useful this is.  
When arabic-, chinese- or russian-spaking developers look at tag or API  
names may of them are meaningless.

While there is no functional difference between the abbr and acronym  
elements in HTML4 and there is no useful distinction in english anyway, I  
have seen spanish speakers (for whom the terms have clearly different  
meanings) spend hundreds of hours of work (which is never "free") trying  
to determine among themselves whether it makes sense to behave as though  
the terms were spanish and meaningful, or follow browser implementation  
and ignore the semantic difference.

When people make script libraries and use an alias for functions whose  
name is "too long and/or complex" it can be taken as a sign that the  
naming was wrong. But that always depends on context - people who don't  
use the script alias much can equally find it very confusing, while the  
long name helps remind them what the API actually does.

In the end "words" are just magic markers for an idea, so that we can  
communicate consistently about what the idea is, and develop shared  
understanding. So we should spend the right amount of effort getting the  
name right the first time, and then we should not worry too much about the  
fine details. Of course, that conveniently ignores the question of how  
much is the right amount and what is a fine detail, but there are no gneal  
answers for those questions.

*And to stop being serious and start being obscure, the most part of  
Patrick and Russ is below the neck - which some people suggest might be  
enough. Besides, Mr Lawson clearly *is* defined by his name, so maybe  
there is something in it after all.



Chaals - standards declaimer
Received on Saturday, 28 July 2012 11:22:00 UTC

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