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Re: proposal for HTML4.01 amendment: <BR PAGEBREAK="before">

From: Frank Tobin <ftobin@neverending.org>
Date: Fri, 11 Jan 2002 17:52:53 -0500 (EST)
To: www-html@w3.org
Message-ID: <20020111173755.I53118-100000@palanthas.neverending.org>
Philip Brown, at 14:34 -0800 on 2002-01-11, wrote:

> You could just as well say that <BR> and <HR> are "presentation". But
> they arent even deprecated.

<hr> presumably has semantics (though the name suggests otherwise; the
semantics were probably an afterthough).  It is a 'divisor' of sorts.
I don't know about <br>...good question, though.

> Try to not get stuck in "page breaks are for printers" and think of the
> higher level meaning. A "page break" essentially indicates a stronger
> "change of topic" than a horizontal rule. You might consider a page
> break to be HR1, whereas the current one would be HR2.

I understand; a 'page break' can also be used as a 'next screen' for
terminal-oriented browsers, too, which even more suggests that it is
presentation.

It's an appealing argument, but I counter-argue is page-breaks are not
intrinsically a semantic division, but merely presentational.

> Besides which, page breaks arent just for printers. The pure text
> program "more", for example, will special-case pagebreaks, aka "form
> feeds". It will stop scrolling down when it hits ^L, until the reader
> presses spacebar.

In this case, I would argue you are mixing the concept of presentation and
semantics.  The formfeed character is really a presentational element; it
is not semantically dividing a page.  Sure, many authors will will use ^L
to semantically divide a page, but it is not intrinsic to the ^L; by
itself it is a presentational artifact.  How the agent acts with the
formfeed char is a presentational issue.  Hence, your pagbreak/formfeed is
still presentational, and still be in CSS.

> Information about pagebreaks belongs in core HTML just as much as the HR
> tag does. (If you'd rather it be an attribute to HR, over BR, fine by
> me. I just want it in there somewhere :-)

As I stated, hr is really more semantic.  I can't argue br, though.  I
wonder why it's still there...maybe something to do with the fact that
some thing's semantics are 'defined' by their linebreaks (addresses, etc).
In fact, multi-line addresses are the only place I use br's.

These arguments are much better than the ones you presented in your
original message.  Unfortunately, your argument goes like "See!  HTML
*already* has this stuff!" when 'this stuff' (hr/br) is probably the
grayest part of the HTML standard with respect to its semantic legitimacy.
Sorta like my saying, "You get no points for pointing out contradictions
in American law".

-- 
Frank Tobin		http://www.neverending.org/~ftobin/
Received on Friday, 11 January 2002 17:53:08 GMT

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