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Re: Concerns about the "l" element name <l>

From: Thomas O'Connor <me@ocoth.id.au>
Date: Thu, 4 Nov 2004 10:23:19 +1100
Message-ID: <025401c4c1fc$1ccf8d20$2c637acb@dellwin>
To: <www-html@w3.org>

I dispute that interpretation of the definition lists in XHTML 2.0.  From what I can see the description of definition lists are
exactly the same in the XHTML 2.0 document[1]  as in the HTML 4.0 document[2] - word for word (with the exception of the addition of
" The term and its definition can be grouped within a di element to help clarify the relationship between a term and its
definition(s). " in XHTML 2.0).

I believe that it is vital for semantic purposes that definition lists remain how they are in HTML 4.0 through to XHTML 2.0 unless
another name:value element set is included.  Definition lists allow for a huge number of name:value pairs to be semantically marked
up in a way that cannot be reproduced through any other element set. Of course there are always tables, but they are more
restrictive in their styling and positioning, plus are a bit of overkill.

Some of these applications include the two the W3C propose:
    - general word:meaning lists
    - dialogue (speaker:speech)
as well as:
    - label:input of forms (allows greater control if place in <dl>, also not semantically incorrect)
    - term:value pairs (contact information, extended navigation{1}, property definitions{2})
and so on.

{1} an example of extended navigation:
    <dt><a href="/cart/">Cart</a></dt>
    <dd>View items that you have placed in to your cart and prepare your order for purchase.</dd>
    <dt><a href="/members/settings/">Settings</a></dt>
    <dd>Modify your account details.</dd>
    <dt><a href="/downloads/">Downloads</a></dt>
    <dd>Download files that your have purchased or received for free.</dd>

{2} an example of property definitions:
<heading>File details</heading>
    <dd>2.05 <acronym title="Megabyte">MB</acronym></dd>
    <dd><acronym title="Portable Document Format">PDF</acronym></dd>
    <dd>An in-depth discussion into the future of the
        <acronym title="World Wide Web Consortium">W3C</acronym>'s
        <acronym title="Extensible Hypertext Markup Language">XHTML</acronym>

[1] http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml2/mod-list.html#sec_11.1.
[2] http://www.w3.org/TR/html4/struct/lists.html#h-10.3

Thomas O'Connor, me@ocoth.id.au, http://ocoth.id.au/
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Asbjørn Ulsberg" <asbjorn@tigerstaden.no>
To: "Thomas O'Connor" <me@ocoth.id.au>
Cc: "HTML List" <www-html@w3.org>
Sent: Thursday, November 04, 2004 8:53 AM
Subject: Re: Concerns about the "l" element name <l>

On Wed, 3 Nov 2004 20:59:18 +1100, Thomas O'Connor <me@ocoth.id.au> wrote:

> If they are separate units like you suggest, such as an e-mail address,
> telephone number, etc. then they probably would be better
> marked up as a <dl>, like so.
> <dl>
>     <dt>Email address</dt>
>     <dd>me@ocoth.id.au</dd>
>     <dt>Telephone number</dt>
>     <dd>+61 2 4900 0000</dd>
> </dl>

That's correct considering the HTML 4 description of <dl>, but in XHTML
2.0, it has been more restricted. A definition list should contain
definitions of words. The definition of «Email address» is not
«me@ocoth.id.au», but something like «A location to which e-mail can be

I wrote something about this not more than two months ago: <url:

[1] <url: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E-mail_address>

Asbjørn Ulsberg         -=|=-        asbjornu@hotmail.com
«He's a loathsome offensive brute, yet I can't look away»
Received on Wednesday, 3 November 2004 23:23:23 UTC

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