Subject: Re: Abstraction in HTML Message-Id: <MICHAELJ.firstname.lastname@example.org> From: email@example.com (Michael Johnson) To: firstname.lastname@example.org (HTML discussion list) Date: Tue, 13 Dec 94 07:18:54 EST All right, let's just dispose of this notion that merging different variations on a list into a single tag is going to simplify anything. But before that, let me make an observation: someone said that when they look at a list, they see an assemblage of unordered items. What that person described was an unordered list. If there is a list of items where the order matters, then they should use an ordered list. The two are distinct conceptual elements. Now, let's look at this "raising of abstraction level". As it stands now, there are two tag names. One for ordered list, one for unordered list. We will ignore DIR and MENU since they are deprecated. If the two were merged into a single tag, then there would need to be a way to differentiate them. At a minimum, you would then have one tag name, one attribute name, and two attribute value tokens that a user writing HTML by hand would have to remember. You have not simplified anything, in fact you've made it harder to write HTML by hand. Where before a user had to remember two identifiers, now they must remember four identifiers at a minimum. That is not simplification. As for making it easier to code a program to handle the two list types, the program becomes more complicated too. Rather than having two cases in a switch block to handle the two different lists (which makes it an atomic operation to choose between the two) the program now must make the switch to the list case, then must fetch the attribute which distinguishes the two list types, then must parse the attribute value and figure out which type of list the writer wanted. That is not simplification either, that's a significant relative increase in processing time for something that ought to be simple. I trust I've made my point. Michael Johnson Relay Technology, Inc.