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From: Kenny Graham <kennygraham@gmail.com>
Date: Mon, 2 May 2005 10:02:46 -0400
Message-ID: <e5875b8e05050207021879be5e@mail.gmail.com>
To: "www-html-editor@w3.org" <www-html-editor@w3.org>

While I'm very excited about the vast majority of the 2.0 specs, I'm
disappointed that <hr> is retained, even if it is renamed.  The
<seperator> tag's structural value is minimal in theory, and I predict
will be non-existent in actual use.  Much more structure would be
obtained by using a <section> tag with a bottom or top border defined
in CSS.  Even in the justifications for it's retention that I have
read, it is readily admitted that its purpose will still be to draw a
horizontal line before or after a portion of the page.  While it may
be remotely possible to use this tag structurally, I fear that its use
will be reminiscent of the way <em> is currently abused as a
replacement for <i>.  Regardless of the spec's good intentions,
history has shown that the vast majority of web developers will cling
to any method of using HTML for presentation available to them.  Some
of these problems, such as use of tables for layout, will be very
difficult to fix.  However, the removal of the <seperator> tag would
bring us one step closer to a purely structural HTML.
I'm aware how this is going to make me sound, but I also know that
many of you have silently been thinking it for years:  Most web
designers need to be protected from themselves.  And the W3C, through
its actions, seems to agree.  HTML4.1 had almost everything necessary
for completely structural HTML.  However, nobody but we few
standards-obsessed developers utilized that ability.  The tags
designed for tabular data were used to splice layouts.  Tags meant for
structural headings were used as shortcuts to larger fonts.  Since
then, each release has required more structure, and removed more
purely presentational elements, in what I believe is an attempt to
force the structural documents that were already possible.  But as
long as elements that can easily be used for presentation exist, those
elements WILL be used, almost exclusively, for presentation, even if
those elements also have a structural value.
 -- Kenny Graham
Received on Monday, 2 May 2005 16:21:23 UTC

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