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Re: Karl's Comments on 31 Jan 2003 WD of XHTML 2.0

From: Karl Dubost <karl@w3.org>
Date: Tue, 29 Apr 2003 10:33:09 -0400
Message-Id: <a05210607bad439cd9a4f@[]>
To: www-html@w3.org

Hi Daniel,

>You write
>    KD: You do not specify the possibility for people to extend the 
>semantics of their markup by using className if they need a specific 
>semantic which is not defined in the XHTML spec. They can use a 
>class="poem", for example.
>Just a reminder that CSS 2 Recommendation says at the end of section 5.8.3:
>    Note. CSS gives so much power to the "class" attribute, that authors could
>    conceivably design their own "document language" based on elements with
>    almost no associated presentation (such as DIV and SPAN in HTML) and
>    assigning style information through the "class" attribute. Authors should
>    avoid this practice since the structural elements of a document language
>    often have recognized and accepted meanings and author-defined classes may
>    not.
>I don't say it's antithetic. I say the second prose above is in a REC and
>should not be forgotten.

Yes and I agree with you. It's exactly my point. I have not been 
enough clear I guess.

     *This is my opinion following, not necessary the W3C position*

Right now the HTML spec defined a limited number of semantic fields, 
so people have to use class attributes with names to extend the 
semantics of their documents.

At a point it becomes so much convenient for them to use the class 
names than they tend to forget the real element that can be used for 

	use for example <span class="address"> instead of <address>, 
because you need it in a sentence and not as a block.

My point is to say that maybe, we could define the semantics of 
elements which are not about structure but "meaning of the content" 
(typically the address element for example) in a specific way. If we 
don't use the class attribute, there may be a need for a, let say sem 
attribute, with normalized and extensible  values.

The values could be defined with a minimal required set inside the 
specification + a Note to define extensibility or new vocabulary, so 
if a community with particular interests could propose extension to 
the vocabulary in a defined way (ala IETF for mime-types).

I think it's a bit like Ontologies people are trying to do in a way, 
but I think my proposition is more basic in the sense of more 
accessible for community and if this community of practice could 
still defines the vocabulary as an ontology behind for the processing 
machine BUT at least for human, the vocabulary will be accessible. So 
it will be a double benefit : ease of use and richness of ontologies 
behind the scene.

Just a basic example.

for people	--------------------------------------> for ontologist

sem="address"       Note defining the vocabulary       address, street
sem="street"            of postal addresses.            defined with OWL.

Does it answer your worries or questions ?

Karl Dubost / W3C - Conformance Manager

      --- Be Strict To Be Cool! ---
Received on Tuesday, 29 April 2003 10:40:05 UTC

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