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Re: hr, fieldset, legend, sub, sup not to be removed XHTML Basic

From: Vicente Luque Centeno <vlc@it.uc3m.es>
Date: Wed, 3 Nov 2004 00:42:50 +0100 (CET)
To: trejkaz@trypticon.org
Cc: www-html@w3.org, www-html-editor@w3.org
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.3.96.1041103001749.32124A-100000@violin.it.uc3m.es>


* "legend" and "fieldset" tags are VERY useful for grouping form fields.
Maybe they are not quite common because authoring tools have little
support for them, but they are explicitly mentioned on WCAG 1.0 [1] as a
way to improve accessibility.

* Perhaps some king of table or element with border might be configured to
look like a horizontal rule, but it will never be as semantically valid as
"hr" for stablishing a horizontal rule, which is a clear, well known, 
simple separator. Using other tags to achieve similar visual
representation is a BIG mistake (degenerated markup).

* I have also been told that CSS rules might be applied to get the same
visual effects as sup and sub. However, I agree with you: that would lose

So, you said a big truth (semantics should not be lost). The point is that
these tags (hr, fieldset, legend, sub, sup) have semantic value that would
be dramatically lost if special tricks based on CSS or HTML tags are used
to replace them. I don't really care about special tricks focused on
getting similar visual representation for these tags. I am concerned about
their semantics! I don't really mind if they have little support on
browsers or authoring tools, but I want to be able to create valid
documents with as much semantics as possible.

Removing these tags from XHTML Basic is a BIG mistake. Don't you think so?

[1] http://www.w3.org/WAI/

Vicente Luque Centeno
Dep. Ingeniería Telemática
Universidad Carlos III de Madrid

On Tue, 2 Nov 2004 trejkaz@trypticon.org wrote:

> At Sat, Oct 30, 2004 at 05:58:45PM +0000, Vicente Luque Centeno wrote:
> > 
> > Hi,
> > 
> > Can anbody explain why the following elements are forbidden in the XHTML
> > Basic 1.0 DTD?
> > 
> > * hr (horizontal rule)
> > * fieldset, legend (form field groups)
> > * sup, sub (superindices, subindices)
> > 
> > I think they should NOT be forbidden at all. I understand that some mobile
> > devices may not render some of them properly, but I don't think that 
> > might be a reason for being removed from the DTD. They add important
> > semantic value and improve accessibility and I don't agree with these
> > eliminations. On the other hand, I am a "XHTML Basic" supporter (almost
> > all my pages are XHTML Basic valid and I teach accessibility in the
> > University).
> I've never seen anyone use <fieldset/> or <legend/> in even full XHTML.  And
> <hr/> can easily be done in other fashions, which is why it is recommended
> against, even in full XHTML.
> But you're right about <sup/> and <sub/>, it seems odd that these would be
> removed.  Even if CSS could fill that gap, it loses the semantics by doing so.
> :-/
> TX
> -- 
>              Email: Trejkaz Xaoza <trejkaz@xaoza.net>
>           Web site: http://xaoza.net/trejkaz/
>          Jabber ID: trejkaz@jabber.xaoza.net
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Received on Tuesday, 2 November 2004 23:43:22 UTC

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