Re: HTML 3.2 PR - lists

Joe English (
Tue, 12 Nov 1996 15:27:58 PST

Message-Id: <>
Subject: Re: HTML 3.2 PR - lists
In-Reply-To: <01IBRO222MQQ00J3BP@SCI.WFBR.EDU>
Date: Tue, 12 Nov 1996 15:27:58 PST
From: Joe English <>

Foteos Macrides <MACRIDES@SCI.WFBR.EDU> wrote:
> Peter Flynn <> wrote:
> >I think the inclusion of DIR and MENU is a crazy piece of pointless
> >backward compatibility. They should be removed, or at the very least
> >strongly deprecated - unless some browser plans to do something
> >meaningful with them at last (any sign of this?)
> 	In HTMLPlus and the (expired) HTML 3.0 draft, MENU were to be
> subsumed under UL by the addition of a PLAIN attribute and a WRAP
> attritute with naming conventions of VERT (default) or HORIZ

There is also a structural difference between MENU/DIR and UL,
at least in RFC 1866:  MENU and DIR cannot contain nested block-level
elements, while UL may.   MENU is intended for lists with short
entries (say, a menu) and DIR is intended for lists with _very_ short
entries (say, a directory or index listing).  I think this is
a useful distinction to be able to express in a document, even
if browsers don't format the three forms any differently.
(And I disagree with Peter: most browsers _do_ "do something
meaningful" with DIR and MENU -- formatting a menu like a
bulleted list is a perfectly reasonable interpretation.)

> 	<MENU> comes <UL PLAIN> and <DIR> becomes <UL PLAIN WRAP=HORIZ>
> as stated in the (expired) HTML 3.0 draft:

This isn't quite the same thing, though.  <UL PLAIN WRAP=HORIZ>
says "omit the bullets, wrap horizontally."  <DIR> says "format this
like a directory listing."   I realize that most Web Designers feel
uncomfortable with the unpredictable nature of the latter semantics,
but I for one like being able to specify intent and trusting the browser
to format it appropriately.

--Joe English