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Re: Discussion of checkpoints 8.4 and 8.5

From: Al Gilman <asgilman@iamdigex.net>
Date: Wed, 17 May 2000 17:47:37 -0500
Message-Id: <200005172138.RAA1893690@smtp2.mail.iamworld.net>
To: Jon Gunderson <jongund@ux1.cso.uiuc.edu>, Ian Jacobs <ij@w3.org>, w3c-wai-ua@w3.org
At 12:11 PM 2000-05-17 -0500, Jon Gunderson wrote:
>Response in JRG:
>>8.4 Make available to the user an "outline" view of content
>>     composed of labels for important structural
>>     elements (e.g., heading text, table titles,
>>     form titles, etc.).
>JRG: I think the use of important structural elements makes this checkpoint 
>clearer.  I think it should provide an outline of all "block" level 
>elements.  But I don't know if there is any common understanding of block 


The problem with this suggestion is that there _is_ a technical definition
of block level elements in that there is a %block entity defined in the DTD
and Web practitioners will _all_ assume that you mean the set of element
types included there.  This carries through into the CSS layout model.  It
is pretty deeply wired into the assumptions of web toolbuilders.  This
definition includes more stuff than you want to include in a structure
overview.  Address, for example, is a block element.  So is horizontal rule
<HR>.  You want <HR> to force a separation into blocks, not to be a block
in its own right, when you summarize the content structure.


Quoting from the HTML Strict DTD in HTML 4.01:

<!--================== HTML content models ===============================-->

    HTML has two basic content models:

        [142]%inline;     character level elements and text strings
        [143]%block;      block-like elements e.g. paragraphs and lists

<!ENTITY % block
     "P | [144]%heading; | [145]%list; | [146]%preformatted; | DL | DIV 

<!ENTITY % flow "[147]%block; | [148]%inline;">
Received on Wednesday, 17 May 2000 17:37:34 UTC

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