Re: Foreign Words and Phrases

Jukka Korpela (
Mon, 22 Sep 1997 15:48:24 +0300 (EET DST)

Date: Mon, 22 Sep 1997 15:48:24 +0300 (EET DST)
From: Jukka Korpela <>
In-Reply-To: <Pine.SUN.3.96.970922141538.361o-100000@enoshima>
Message-ID: <>
Subject: Re: Foreign Words and Phrases

On Mon, 22 Sep 1997, Martin J. Dürst wrote:

> There is some kind of misunderstanding here. CLASS in no way is
> "constructed for affecting presentation". Ideally, as above with
> "SPECIES" or "TAXON", it is purely semantical. It is a way to make
> finer semantic distinctions when the elements of HTML are not enough.

In which way does a document using, say, class=taxon "make finer
semantic distinctions"? I thought semantics was about the same as
_meaning_. Where is the meaning of class=taxon defined? As far as I
can read, the HTML 4.0 draft assigns only a stylesheet-related
meaning to it. Naturally, the meaning can be defined _separately_.
But anyone or anything reading the document would have to know
how to retrieve that definition.

Sometimes people seem to think that class names are self-explanatory.
I don't think they are. Even if a browser told me that a document
contains class=species, it would be pure guesswork to interpret what the
author means. (And most class names will probably be more obscure.)

> This is not very feasible. It would mean that every browser has
> to know about TAXON and this default value.

Naturally, if an element is added to HTML, every conforming browser
must know it and its properties.

It seems to me that the class attribute, no matter what benefits it
might be yield in specialized areas, will be used as excuse for
not developing HTML as a structured language.