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Re: XHTML 2.0 to contain long element names

From: John Lewis <lewi0371@mrs.umn.edu>
Date: Sun, 11 May 2003 20:36:31 -0500
Message-ID: <11635984759.20030511203631@cda.mrs.umn.edu>
To: www-html@w3.org

Cortland wrote on Sunday, May 11, 2003 at 4:41:56 PM:

> I've always hated how many of the HTML elements had such short
> element names, such as p, b, i, tr, td, th, br (etc...)

> It would be cool if they were a bit longer, such as <paragraph/>
> <bold/> <italic/> <cell/> (For <table/>) (etc...)

I disagree for the reasons outlined here:
<http://www.w3.org/People/Bos/DesignGuide/readability.html#Readabilit>

    A notation can be too short. If a seldomly used feature takes only
    one letter ("t"), then the few times you see the letter you will
    probably have to look it up, if you don't overlook the letter
    completely. It is better as a complete word ("translate").

    A notation can also be too long. If a keyword you use all the time
    takes 20 letters to type ("shapeoutlinedata"), than it could
    probably have been abbreviated ("d"). These examples are from SVG
    (which gets them right), but you can find similar cases in most
    languages.

I think XHTML2 is doing a decent job with element name length. There's
not much to gain by expanding the names of frequently used elements,
coolness aside, especially if the names in question are already
established HTML elements (like p, tr, td, and th). On the bright
side, the q element has been replaced by the quote element, for
reasons still unclear to me.

-- 
John Lewis
Received on Sunday, 11 May 2003 21:41:47 GMT

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