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Re: Against 'start' and 'value' attributes

From: Jim Dabell <jim-www-html@jimdabell.com>
Date: Wed, 12 Mar 2003 14:01:16 +0000
To: www-html@w3.org
Message-Id: <200303121401.16902.jim-www-html@jimdabell.com>

On Wednesday 12 March 2003 1:30 pm, William F Hammond wrote:
> In the wide world of document types, attributes are semantic in nature
> rather than presentational.  It is more or less true, however, that
> attributes in HTML up through 4.01 can be viewed as somewhat
> presentational, and, in particular, the "class" attribute of an
> element points to a presentation class.

Actually, class is not limited to presentation at all, that's just its most 
common use.

	"The class attribute has several roles in HTML:

	* As a style sheet selector (when an author wishes to assign style
	information to a set of elements).

	* For general purpose processing by user agents."

		-- http://www.w3.org/TR/html401/struct/global.html#adef-class

For example, you may want to write a rollover script that automatically works 
on <img class="rollover"> elements.

I think the argument over whether attributes are content or not is 
unproductive in this context.

The rule of thumb I have observed for HTML, and similar languages, is that it 
is preferable to make something a child element rather than an attribute when 
displaying its contents as part of the page is the usual rendering.

As such, I would suggest that numbering should become a child element of <li> 
elements, as Etan proposed.

I also think that it would be useful to be able to mark continuations of 
previous lists, but that this is a separate issue to numbering.  What about 
an attribute containing the idref of the previous list element?

Perhaps some thought should be given to continuing lists from other documents 
also, for instance a gaming website's "100 best games of all time" list, 
split over ten pages.

Finally, what about marking that a list will be continued itself?  I can see 
automatic extraction of an entire list from the first element being useful.

Jim Dabell
Received on Wednesday, 12 March 2003 09:30:15 UTC

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