W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-html@w3.org > June 1999

Re: Add new tags to HTML

From: Braden N. McDaniel <braden@shadow.net>
Date: Tue, 1 Jun 1999 06:58:27 -0400
Message-ID: <001c01beac1e$0690c5a0$1a3a11cf@com>
To: "Nicolas Lesbats" <nlesbats@etu.utc.fr>, <www-html@w3.org>
----- Original Message -----
From: Nicolas Lesbats <nlesbats@etu.utc.fr>
To: <www-html@w3.org>
Sent: Tuesday, May 25, 1999 7:46 AM
Subject: Add new tags to HTML

> Hi,
> Add new tags in HTML seems to not interest a lot of people any more, but I
> think there still is some things to do.

The canned answer to such suggestions is that you can create your own markup
in XML.

The main reasons that no tags are likely to be added in the near future
are... HTML as an SGML application has probably seen its end in the HTML 4.0
specification. It seems unlikely that there will be much motivation to
continue this line. It looks like the future of HTML is XHTML or some
derivative thereof. The single task of XHTML 1.0 seems to be to express the
functionality of HTML 4.0 in XML terms. Perhaps there will be subsequent
versions of XHTML that extend the tagset.

> Here I give you the in-my-opinion-missing tags :
> 1. Format titles of books, movies, etc.
> Traditionally, titles are rendering italic. We can code them by <em> but
> is there really a semantically good solution ?
> I would prefer <work> or something like that (the exact term is to be
> found).

CITE is generally used for this, though I think this element is a little
vague. Often, a citation consists of more than just a title. But
historically, titles seem to be all it's really good at. There is also the
problem that italics are not the convention for all kinds of cited
titles--quotes are appropriate for some.

> 2. More important : express distance with the text
> Traditionally rendered by quotes. You express doubts about what you are
> saying. The linguistical, french term is "distanciation" (I suppose it too
> exists in english), and it is opposed with "accentuation" ("emphasize",
> rendered by <em>).
> This is really a missed characteristic. We could imagine a tag like <dis>
> (from the latin "separed from", like dis-tance), or more specifically
> <expr> (like "expression"), or another word, it's not the word itself
> which is important, but its signification.
> What do you think about that ? (was there already a discussion about ?)

This seems a reasonable suggestion. I like "dis".

> 3. Clear the <q>'s meaning
> Some browsers render <q> with quotes, other without. So, this tag is
> not usable ! CSS2 is not enough implemented and known to correct the
> problem. So, there is too something to do with that. Isn't there ?

The HTML 4 spec says:

"Visual user agents must ensure that the content of the Q element is
rendered with delimiting quotation marks. Authors should not put quotation
marks at the beginning and end of the content of a Q element."

This appears to be unambiguous--I'm not sure how it could be clarified. The
unfortunate fact is that no HTML 4 browsers exist.

Braden N. McDaniel
Received on Tuesday, 1 June 1999 07:03:27 UTC

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