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"comment" Attribute In XHTML 1.1

From: Sean Palmer <sean_b_palmer@yahoo.com>
Date: Sun, 16 Jul 2000 09:17:03 -0700 (PDT)
Message-ID: <20000716161703.19147.qmail@web3501.mail.yahoo.com>
To: www-html@w3.org
Here is a thought that has been exciting me for quite
a long time now; a new attribute in XHTML 1.1;
"comment". (As in comment="comment", see below for
Basically, I want to know what everyone thinks of this
In the WCAG WAI Web Content Accessibility Guidelines
1.0, it states "Ensure that documents are clear and
simple", of which a document also means source code.
And the XML spec. says that XHTML (an XML language)
should be human readable. Have you ever found it
frustrating to look at someones source code and think
"why on earth did they put that there?". Also, when
you make your own files, don't you ever wish you could
put a comment directly into an element, rather than
having it commented outside in the usual manner.
For example, say you had two hr lines; one was red and
one was blue. You might do something like:-
<hr style="color:blue;" />
<hr style="color:red;" />

Then, if you change one of them, you might want to put
a note in to inform your collegues, or yourself at a
later date:-
<hr style="color:green;" />
<!-- used to be color:blue -->
<hr style="color:red;" />

But which one used to be blue? In this case you should
<hr style="color:green;" />
<!-- The hr element above used to be color:blue -->
<hr style="color:red;" />

This gets comlicated if you have a large and
complicated page with many colours.
Wouldn't it be great to have something like this:-
<hr style="color:green;" comment="was blue" />
<hr style="color:red;" />

So much simpler!!!
There are so many possible uses for this attribute:-
<hr comment="remove as appropriate" />
<p comment="spell check">The fuios used too bee a very
greate ship</p>
<br comment="space filler" />
In ASP <img alt="whatever" comment="shouldn't show in
lynx" ...
<p comment="sanskrit translation">...</p>
<div comment="generated from XML source">
<a href...

Of course, most of you will say "why can't you use the
id name or title attributes". The answer is that none
of these are actually designed to do the job that I
have specified (except maybe title="sanskrit
translation"). But you couldn't have title="spell
check", althouh you could have title="Text".

I would greatly appreciate anyone's thoughts (but
especially those members of W3C that work on XHTML). 
I am sure this is a very useful and much needed tag
that would improve the stucture and layout of an XHTML
document. I think that things like this have already
been mentioned, but nothing this specific...let me
What are the odds that this attribute will appear in
XHTML 1.1? 1000:1???
Still, it would be nice...
Kindest Regards,
Sean B. Palmer
WAP Tech Info

P.S. It could be added simply to coreattrs as
<!ENTITY % coreattrs
 "id          ID             #IMPLIED  --
document-wide unique id --
  class       CDATA          #IMPLIED  --
space-separated list of classes --
  comment     CDATA          #IMPLIED  -- element
specific comment --
  style       %StyleSheet;   #IMPLIED  -- associated
style info --
  title       %Text;         #IMPLIED  -- advisory
title --"

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Received on Sunday, 16 July 2000 12:17:37 UTC

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