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Re: [XHTML2] Unicode line and paragraph separators

From: Jim Dabell <jim-www-html@jimdabell.com>
Date: Mon, 7 Apr 2003 20:45:28 +0100
To: www-html@w3.org
Message-Id: <200304072045.28173.jim-www-html@jimdabell.com>


On Monday 07 Apr 2003 6:10 pm, Philip TAYLOR \[PC87S/O-XP\] wrote:
> There is little doubt in my mind that even the most pure of purist
> logical markup advocates have, somewhere in the deepest recesses
> of their minds, some anticipation of how their carefully-marked-up
> text will appear after styling by some rendering agent.

My position is that styling is a valid use of the semantic information 
provided by good markup.  There's nothing "dirty" about including extra 
information to help that process along :)


> Thus I would support
> M. Cline's argument that <sentence> ... </sentence> is arguably
> as important as <p> ... </p>, even though HTML has ignored the
> concept ever since its inception.

I would say that yes, it is as important as the <p> element.  However, there 
are different costs associated with the two elements.  I expect that the 
markup of sentences would be far less popular than markup of paragraphs.

From a coding perspective, it's a large amount of bloat for the average 
page, and a lot of typing.

From a visual viewpoint, not being able to distinguish between different 
sentences may have a _slight_ effect on readability, but nowhere near as 
bad as if you didn't have the <p> element.

From an authoring tool point of view, you can automatically detect when the 
user wants to begin or end a paragraph with a double newline (for better or 
worse).  It's less easy to do this for sentence elements.

From an accessibility point of view, it may be beneficial to aural 
user-agents, as they could insert small gaps between sentences.

I think that, should a <sentence> element be added to XHTML, it would not be 
very popular.  However, there are currently other elements in XHTML that 
are highly specialised, such as <var>, where the same arguments can be 
made, and there are other elements that could be included that would be far 
more popular and appropriate for the medium (what about 
<email>jim@example.com</email>?).

-- 
Jim Dabell
Received on Monday, 7 April 2003 15:46:31 GMT

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