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

FW: FW: OL needs the start attribute

From: Peter Foti (PeterF) <PeterF@SystolicNetworks.com>
Date: Thu, 17 Oct 2002 14:08:42 -0400
Message-ID: <A10A983C9DFBD4119F0300104B2EA6B725FD4B@ZIPPY>
To: "'www-html@w3.org'" <www-html@w3.org>

> > I agree. If the numbering is considered critical to the 
> understanding of the
> > document, then it is content.
> /Prima facie/, I agree;  but how then would you propose marking
> up such a list?  If you present it as an ordered list, you
> would want to suppress auto-numbering yet have the "number"
> part of the content appear where the auto-number would normally
> appear; and if you mark it up as an unordered list, then
> not only would the same constraints apply, but you would
> also need to inform the browser that the list could not
> be presented in an order other than that implied by the
> source code.  Does this suggest that (X)HTML need be
> extended to accommodate a third class of list, in which
> both sequence number and text are explicitly specified,
> rather along the lines of a <DL> but with different implied
> default presentation rules ?

The example given, where the numbering is part of the content, 
should not use an unordered list, as it IS ordered.  You could 
use an ordered list and suppress the number, and then you would 
need to handle the displaying of the number using CSS (if you 
wanted to align it a certain way).  For example:
   <li><span class="listnum">1</span><span 

The only problem with that solution is trying to find the 
correct definition for class "listnum" (I find that applying 
styles that affect the placement of span elements can cause 
problems with many browsers).  But if you look at this example, 
doesn't it look oddly like a table?  Substitute <ol></ol> with 
<table></table>, <li></li> with <tr></tr>, <span 
class="listnum"></span> with <td></td>, and <span 
class="listcontent"></span> with <td></td>...


If you think about it, this is actually a valid use of a table. 
 You have tabular data, where one column contains the list 
number that is required content, and the other contains the 
related content.  Of course, you would probably want to assign 
2 different classed to each of the column types (like "listnum" 
and "listcontent") so you could control the alignment, but this 
provides an ordered method for listing the data.


Received on Thursday, 17 October 2002 14:02:07 UTC

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