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Re: kelvSYC's Thoughts on the new XHTML Draft

From: David Woolley <david@djwhome.demon.co.uk>
Date: Mon, 12 May 2003 07:40:51 +0100 (BST)
Message-Id: <200305120640.h4C6epP01124@djwhome.demon.co.uk>
To: www-html@w3.org

> Authors make use of target without frames all the time.  Target can be used
> with frames but neither is dependent on the other.

Generally they use them for popups, which is a presentational/behavioural
feature, having many of the undesirable features of frames and being
heavily abused (but probably by the scripting route) to force advertising
on users of pages on free hosting services.  Their use is discouraged
by the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines, because they cause 
unexpected changes in focus.

> Just because something can be abused is not sufficient justification to drop
> it.  In such cases, certainly guidance should be provided to steer folks
> away from such abuses.

That just doesn't work in practice.  It's almost only the theoreticians
that you complain about earlier that actually read the source specifications.
The rest of the world, if they read anything, read popular HTML books, and
those books are likely to continue to propagate the use of features that
the formal specifications discourage, often suggesting them as the normal
way of doing things.  Those that don't read books (possibly the majority,
simply copy the presentational and behavioural coding from the sites that
they think are "cool").

> They have been tried and true elements that both work and are mostly
> harmless.  I would be in favor of deprecating h1...h6, but certainly not
> removing them.

Although their use as codewords for canned stylings, with no correlation
to structure, may be diminishing, I think there is still a tendency to
skip levels simply to get a styling rather than any structural reason.

> 
> Books often have content that appears to represent a horizontal rule.  At a

"appears" gives away the fact that this is presentational.
Received on Monday, 12 May 2003 02:43:08 GMT

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