W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-html@w3.org > August 2002

Re: 'nl': presentational or semantic?

From: Gabriele Fava <gabriele.fava@tiscalinet.it>
Date: Sat, 24 Aug 2002 22:28:02 +0200
Message-ID: <3D67EC52.9000205@tiscalinet.it>
To: www-html@w3.org

Etan Wexler wrote:

>Gabriele Fava wrote:
>>The "nl" element is to my mind just a presentational element, added just
>>to contrast "evil" ECMAScript menus (css ones are not so spread) with
>>some "good" equivalent W3C [reccomendation].
>Regardless of whether the 'nl' element type is intended to obviate
>scripted menus, the 'nl' element type is rightly structural and semantic. 
>In fact, I do not find the 'nl' element type presentational at all.
>Think of the helpful ways that a user and her/his user agent could handle
>'nl' elements:
>  setting the elements in a relatively small font size;
>  setting the elements in a relatively small font size; rendering only 'nl'
>    elements;
>  ommitting 'nl' elements entirely (as for print or aural
>    rendition);
>  extracting a navigation list for use as a local resource; and
>    on and on.
>Is this variety of treatments consistent with a presentational element
>type?  No.
Have you read my post entirely? I fully agree with the proposal of a 
construct to divide navigation parts (menus, bars etc.) from the 
content, but I can't understand why such navigation parts should be 
constructed as lists. I proposed a general navigation element, instead 
of that nl.

Perhaps you saw that new navigation list in a w3c specification and 
thought that if they put it as a list it must means that for one reason 
or another it is good to structure all navigation items of a page as 
lists. Think with your own head, I can't see any reason for this.

I guess another reason of having introduced the "nl" element: css 
techniques to make top-down menus are not so difficult, but neither so 
easy for css beginners, so a default behaviour can much help in the 
spreading of css-based top-down menus; in addition the css needed to do 
such menus is not widely supported, and an xhtml specification that 
requires it can get a great move on browsers manufacturers.
But for those who are not so good in css there are already available 
scripts that behave almost as like as css: if javascript is disabled the 
menus are still showed. If you don't want to have anything to do with 
javascript, and want other people to do the same, you can suggest css 
"templates" instead of scripts, perhaps it is even more simple for 
inexpert people.
Understood why I claimed "nl" to be only a presentational element? If my 
guesses are correct, it has just been made to simplify presentational 
Anyway, I propose this "navigation" element, likely to replace "nl". 
What do you think?

[1]    http://www.meyerweb.com/eric/css/edge/menus/demo.html
Received on Saturday, 24 August 2002 18:46:00 UTC

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