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RFC: XHTML Report Extension

From: John Richard Moser <nigelenki@comcast.net>
Date: Sat, 20 Nov 2004 19:58:50 +0000
Message-ID: <419EDF53.20903@comcast.net>
To: www-html@w3.org
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I'm not subscribed, please CC me responses

I've often used html and xhtml to write up reports.  I have noticed that
in all forms of editing-- word processing and HTML-- that a built-in
reference system is not generally a feature.  I would like to correct
this in xhtml in a simple and effective manner.

Here is my basic set of alterations to facilitate writing reports and
papers in xhtml.  The only modifications are two new tags and two new
attributes to <li> in the context of one of the new tags.

I'm out of my league here, to say the least.  I don't know what else
would be good for reports, possibly <ref type="block" cite="reference">
or such, along with extra attributes to <li> to handle what to put after
such blocks; but I want to keep it simple here at first.  We can worry
about screwing with <ref> to make it do more complicated things if it's
determined that these extensions would actually be useful in the first
place.  First, of course, we have to figure out what those "more
complicated things" should be.

The goals I'm aiming at are pretty blatantly to allow the generation of
reports similar to certain papers[1] I've encountered.  Sometimes I'm
simply uninterested in using a word processor to do things, especially
since publishing such things as xhtml is a faster and easier way to
disperse the information than dumping an RTF to a PDF or a PS and
putting it up for download.

[1] http://woct.sourceforge.net/xoops/modules/mylinks/visit.php?cid=2&lid=1
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XHTML Report Language
An XHTML extension for any future version of XHTML

The XHTML Report Language is a set of extensions to XHTML intended to
facilitate the writing of reports in XHTML.  These include creating
documentation for references.


TAG:  rl
Reference List
This tag is similar to <ol>, in that it creates an ordered list.  It differs,
however, in that this list is later used to generate other page content for
reference documentation.

Syntax:
~
<rl>
 <li name="name" uri="uri">
 Title
 </li>
</rl>
~

Potential output:
~
1. Title
~

Further details:
The text "Title" above is a link to (uri).



TAG:  li
List Item
The <li> tag must be extended to allow the "name" and "uri" attributes in the
<rl> context.  To be consistent, "uri" may become "src" or "href" to match
other tags; however, the "uri" nomenclature is appropriate in its own right.

The "name" attribute will allow the <ref> tag to properly generate a Reference
to the reference entry.

The "uri" attribute will define a Universal Resource Identifier to associate
with the reference.

Syntax:
See <rl>

Potential output:
See <rl>

Further details:
The <li> tag in this context could become <re> instead; this is a trivial
implementation detail.



TAG:  ref
Reference
The <ref> tag will insert internal citation, optionally associated with text.
This is different from <cite>, which is a simple formatting tag.

The "cite" attribute will indicate the name of the reference to cite.

Syntax:
~
<p>
The <ref cite="w3paper">W3 paper</ref> says that &lt;cite> is a formatting
tag.  <ref cite="w3paper" /> also says that &lt;em> is a formatting tag.
</p>

<rl>
 <li name="w3paper" uri="http://w3.com/paper.txt">
 W3 Paper on xhtml
 </li>
</rl>
~

Potential output:
~
The W3 paper[1] says that <cite> is a formatting tag. [1] also says that <em>
is a formatting tag.

1.  W3 Paper on xhtml
~

Further details:
The text, "W3 paper;" the "1" in both occurrences of "[1];" and the text, "W3
Paper on xhtml" are all links to (http://w3.com/paper.txt) in the above
output.

The Web browser would not be able to render the <ref> tag properly until the
<rl> list was fully or partially parsed.  Web browsers currently adjust the
page layout as images are loaded, sometimes having to find out if an image
exists and either insert or remove the "alt" text; so the issue of having to
alter the rendered output after the page is loaded is not a new consideration,
and thus is not a problem.
Received on Saturday, 20 November 2004 20:04:27 GMT

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