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RE: Restructuring the Ordered List

From: Ernest Cline <ernestcline@mindspring.com>
Date: Thu, 25 Mar 2004 10:14:38 -0500
Message-ID: <410-220043425151438718@mindspring.com>
To: "Lenny Domnitser" <ldrhcp87@yahoo.com>, www-html@w3.org


> [Original Message]
> From: Lenny Domnitser <ldrhcp87@yahoo.com>
>
> In the latest strict versions of HTML, the `ol`
> element has no `start` attribute. The removal
> of this attribute breaks core functionality of ordered lists.
>
> The CSS alternative is a complicated counter-based
> solution that is poorly supported by browsers.
> However,
> even if browsers properly supported CSS counters, a
> structural part of the list is being deprecated.
>
> Imagine using a non-CSS browser and instead of
>
>     I. First Section
>        a. sub-section
>        b. yet another
>
>     an interrupting paragraph
>
>        c. some more
>     II. foo
>        a. bar
>
> you saw
>
>     1. First Section
>        1. sub-section
>        2. yet another
>
>     an interrupting paragraph
>
>        1. some more
>     1. foo
>        1. bar
>
> Now imagine being told to refer to point II.a. This
> is not an issue of styling: it is critical to the
> meaning of the list.

Actually, it is an issue of styling.
Why is that paragraph interrupting the list?
Because of style

The way to handle this in CSS without breaking the list
into two disjoint parts in the HTML would be to use
positioning to place the paragraph into the interrupting
position and have the single list flow around it.

If the paragraph belongs at that point of the list semantically,
then it should be part of the list.  There are some good reasons
for having a start attribute for the <ol> element, but this isn't
one of them.

The primary reason for including a start attribute is so that
when a document refers to only a portion of a list, then only
the relevant portion of the list need be included while
maintaining the list indices of the whole list.
Received on Thursday, 25 March 2004 10:14:42 UTC

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