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Re: XHTML2 dt/dd Nesting

From: Toby A Inkster <tobyink@goddamn.co.uk>
Date: Mon, 6 Oct 2003 15:32:12 +0100
To: William F Hammond <hammond@csc.albany.edu>
Cc: W3C HTML Specification Discussion <www-html@w3.org>
Message-ID: <20031006143212.GA3656@ophelia.goddamn.co.uk>
On Mon, Oct 06, 2003 at 09:27:40AM -0400, William F Hammond wrote:
| > | In particular, it is both correct and sensible for the visual
| > | effect of "hanging indentation" to use:
| > |   <dl>
| > |     <dd>
| > |       <p>...</p>
| > |       <p>...</p>
| > |       ...
| > |     </dd>
| > |   </dl>
| >
| > Huh? What have you been smoking?
| Nearest XHTML 1.0 approximation of a single item simple list.

Firstly, in your origvinal post you didn't mention a "single item 
list" -- you simpl;y said "the visual effect of hanging 

Secondly, there is a well defined method (in fact two such methods) 
for representing a single item list in XHTML 1.0:

<li>List item.</li>


<li>List Item.</li>

Both have subtly different semantics and quite different default 
renderings in most browsers.
Thirdly, it is debatable whether a list may logically consist of a 
single item.

| Well, you might have suggested:
|    <div class="SimpleList">
|      <p>...</p>
|      <p>...</p>
|    </div>
| but it would not do well in a user agent that does not do CSS,
| e.g. "lynx", "w3m", "links", ...

But if we are dealing with an entirely presentational issue, then 
this is a *good* thing, as these browsers do not attempt to deal 
with presentational matters -- hence not implementing CSS. (Although 
I believe Links 2 has some CSS support)
| But what is your point?
| (1) A simple list is not the correct content model for the
|     presentation model "hanging indentation".
| OR
| (2) A simple list should be modeled in HTML with "div".

1 I think. Simply that indentation should not be acheived through 
using list-related elements unless the data being indented is 

| While it could be argued that "ul" is a simple list, the history of
| its default rendering with "bullets" makes that unworkable.

What difference do bullets make? In a CSS based browser, bullets can 
be turned on or off with "list-style:none;". In a non-CSS browser, 
the appearance of bullets in a list should not be a problem assuming 
that the data marked up as a list is "list-like". If your data is 
not list-like, then don't mark it up as a list. Use a <div> to 
indent, and if the indent doesn't happen in a non-CSS browser, this 
doesn't really matter as the indentation is not semantically 

Toby A Inkster BSc (Hons) ARCS
Contact Me - http://www.goddamn.co.uk/tobyink/?id=132

Received on Monday, 6 October 2003 10:32:16 UTC

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