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Re: XHTML 2.0 - dfn : Content model and usability

From: Laurens Holst <lholst@students.cs.uu.nl>
Date: Tue, 05 Jul 2005 18:55:33 +0200
Message-ID: <42CABB85.6030500@students.cs.uu.nl>
To: Karl Dubost <karl@w3.org>
Cc: www-html-editor@w3.org, www-html@w3.org

Karl Dubost schreef:
> 2. Index Generation: Page number
> 
> huh? :) As I agree that it's cool to have XHTML reusable for printing  
> purpose, it's not the initial goal of XHTML. The notion of page  
> numbering is a bit confusing on a screen. Or maybe I miss something,  
> like screen pagination for navigation? Could you give an example and  
> again if interesting, that would be another use case to add to the  
> specification.

Well, on screen it could be a link to the nearest ID instead (easy: 
(preceding::*[@id])[1]), which will typically be on the section or 
heading before it.

Btw, Robís mention of keyword indexing is also very good one. I believe 
in our websiteís search engine we indeed give pages with the searchterm 
between <dfn></dfn> a higher rank.


> 3. Typographic purposes
>     Do you mean CSS styling?
>     Do you mean printing?
> 
> Because dfn doesn't add anything on a <span class="def"></span> for  
> this purpose. Defining semantics of elements is fine with me, but if  
> they are useful in a semantic way for the user.

By that argument, why would you need <em> or <code>.

Term definitions are in typography typically rendered in italics or 
bold, and very common in various kinds of books (mostly technical).


>> Something to actually mark up the explanation of the definition  would 
>> be somewhat nice, but it would be less useful
> 
> :) How could it be less useful?
> Adding something on top of something you said was "more useful text  
> markup elements of HTML" and that you said "would be nice" will not  
> make it less useful ;)

What I meant is that the addition would not be entirely useless, but I 
think it will be difficult to use and whether it is really practical is 
a question. In texts where I use <dfn>, the explaining text generally 
isnít fit to be taken out and put somewhere else. So in order for it to 
work, I would have to rewrite the text, but that would likely mean 
sub-optimal phrasing in the context. So in the end I would probably just 
want to use a copy of the text with minor changes for a definition list.

So whether it is useful enough to warrant addition to the spec is 
doubtful, from my point of view.


>> Especially because it takes the text out of context, I donít think  
>> making glossaries based on this is a good idea, nor very useful.
> 
> If you can produce a dl/dt/dd glossary parsing a text for definition.  
> You gain time.

True. You currently canít (conveniently) do that. But, again, I give you 
the argument that it would be difficult to do so anyway because the Ďddí 
is taken out of context.


> Thanks Laurens for adding to the understanding. The Editors might  want 
> to add examples to clarify the use cases.

Agreed. But thatís why the XHTML 2.0 spec is still a working draft :).


~Grauw

-- 
Ushiko-san! Kimi wa doushite, Ushiko-san nan da!!
Received on Tuesday, 5 July 2005 16:56:33 GMT

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