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Re: Against 'start' and 'value' attributes

From: Alexander Savenkov <w3@hotbox.ru>
Date: Sat, 15 Feb 2003 18:03:41 +0300
Message-ID: <12212405224.20030215180341@hotbox.ru>
To: www-html@w3.org, Toby A Inkster <tobyink@goddamn.co.uk>

2003-02-15T11:07:57Z Toby A Inkster <tobyink@goddamn.co.uk> wrote:

> On Sun, Dec 14, 2003 at 09:00:00PM +0700, Etan Wexler wrote:
> | The typical argument for the 'value' attribute states that the
> | list numbering is an essential part of the content and is not
> | merely style. 

> It sometimes *can* be an essential part of the content. For example, say I 
> create an HTML version of the GNU General Public Licence (you should be 
> able to find a copy somewhere at http://www.gnu.org/) numbering the legal
> clauses using an ordered list.
As I see it even for the legal documents the numbering is provided for
readability reasons. I.e., not to refer to "the 5th paragraph on the
3rd page".
There are three ways out:
1. Not to publish legal documents on the web.
2. Use numbering in paragraphs, not in the lists in case it's really
important and is refered to in other normative parts.
3. Adapt the document to the web environment, e. g., replace all the
links that contain numbering with actual content.

> You'll notice that in the GPL, the first clause is numbered "0", the 
> second "1" and so forth. If I acheive this numbering merely using style 
> sheets, then a user agent that doesn't support style sheets will number 
> them from "1" onwards.
Like always: don't use XHTML2 (or numbered lists) if you're unsure of the
UA support.

> Later, on the same page, I am writing a criticism of the GPL and refer to 
> "clause 1". Somebody using a user agent that supports style sheets will 
> see which clause I am referring to correctly. Somebody using a user agent 
> that doesn't support style sheets will think I am referring to clause 0.
You shouldn't refer to the "clause 1". Instead, provide a name of the
clause.

> You see, sometimes numbering ordered lists can be too important to leave 
> to style sheets. The numbering can form a part of the content.

> Of course, other times numbering can happily be left to style sheets, as 
> it isn't important to the content.

Regards,
Alex.
-- 
  Alexander "Croll" Savenkov                  http://www.thecroll.com/
  w3@hotbox.ru                                     http://croll.da.ru/
Received on Saturday, 15 February 2003 10:05:55 GMT

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