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Re: XHTML 2.0: Suggestion for <addr/> and <blockaddr/> to replace <address/>

From: Jukka K. Korpela <jkorpela@cs.tut.fi>
Date: Tue, 2 Dec 2003 01:17:04 +0200 (EET)
To: www-html@w3.org
Message-ID: <Pine.GSO.4.58.0312020103080.19300@korppi.cs.tut.fi>

On Mon, 1 Dec 2003, Christian Wolfgang Hujer wrote:

> since <quote/> and <blockquote/> as well as <code/> and <blockcode/> are
> counterpart for quotes or listings, I suggest to replace <address/> with
> <addr/> and <blockaddr/>.

That would be logical in a sense, though one might question the very idea
of having inline and block versions of elements. Isn't the distinction
basically presentational?

Besides, what's the point in <address> in the first place? It's an old
element, which has been widely used against its definition: it has been
used in general for addresses, not for contact address of the _document's
author_. And we really cannot blame authors for this confusion, since the
name is particularly poorly chosen.

If we think that previous poor uses of words as element names are not a
problem in XHTML 2.0 design, then <address> could well be used to stand
for what it says: _any_ address information for someone or something.
However it might be better to define some internal structure for it,
instead of mere line structure. Or it might be named just <postal>,
for specifying a physical address, whereas various Internet address
are, in a natural way, covered by the elements for linking.

If it is desirable to have an element for specifying information about the
author (of a document or part thereof), then an <author> element could be
defined, and it in turn might contain an <address> element (and any other
information about the author that would seem appropriate).

On the other hand, it might be better to treat author information as
metadata (which might or might not be made part of the rendered content of
a document).

In any case, <address> as a legacy element is rather pointless. It has
often been argued that it could be used for automatically collecting
authorship information. But I don't think any spider does that.
And what would they do with "address" information that has no standardized
structure?

-- 
Jukka "Yucca" Korpela, http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/
Received on Monday, 1 December 2003 18:17:21 GMT

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