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Re: OL needs the start attribute

From: Sampo Syreeni <decoy@iki.fi>
Date: Thu, 17 Oct 2002 02:20:26 +0300 (EEST)
To: Roland Bluethgen <calocybe@web.de>
cc: <www-html@w3.org>
Message-ID: <Pine.SOL.4.30.0210170212110.2047-100000@kruuna.Helsinki.FI>

On 2002-10-16, Roland Bluethgen uttered to www-html@w3.org:

>True. But that the 4th article is named '3a' and not '4' is essential
>content in this case.

I would think not. From the point of view of HTML and ordered lists, it
couldn't be less important how the items are called. With a structured
representation of a list, naming is arbitrary. It's whatever the reader
considers a list, either ordered or unordered. From that point of view,
one could just as well name the items by Roman numbers, and that would be
it, provided the reader understands the list is ordered.

HTML isn't meant to encode presentational elements, a category of meaning
list numbering clearly belongs to. It isn't meant to enable one to encode
the precise labelling of list items. It's meant to encode the semantics of
certain commonly used lists. If we take a list where there is item 3 and
item 3a, with the "a" denoting a newer addition to a linear list, the
proper encoding would seem to be a list item with a timestamp. However,
that sort of thing isn't represented by HTML. It simply isn't. One has to
deal with the fact, and not try to go around it. Hence, one has to either
use CSS classes, switch to another style language, whatever, to accomplish
the fact. I would contend that one has to just leave such constructs out
of one's documents to comply with HTML's rules.

Whichever the case may be, HTML isn't meant to encode labels, but order or
the lack of same. That's sufficient for the representation of most lists
in existence. Those lists which cannot be represented should probably be
encoded via XHTML extensions, or CSS/XSL acting on suitable class
attributes. In any case, native support likely isn't forthcoming, nor
should it.
-- 
Sampo Syreeni, aka decoy - mailto:decoy@iki.fi, tel:+358-50-5756111
student/math+cs/helsinki university, http://www.iki.fi/~decoy/front
openpgp: 050985C2/025E D175 ABE5 027C 9494 EEB0 E090 8BA9 0509 85C2
Received on Wednesday, 16 October 2002 19:20:29 GMT

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