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Re: XHTML2: Proposal for total separation of semantics from structure

From: Orion Adrian <orion.adrian@gmail.com>
Date: Tue, 30 Aug 2005 09:30:10 -0400
Message-ID: <abd6c8010508300630738ade0c@mail.gmail.com>
To: www-html@w3.org

> Nevertheless, I think it's not so bad to retain the current set of
> semantic elements. @role and @property allow for additional semantics
> and could perhaps gradually phase out the semantic tags.

I don't think @role is appropriate here for this. I think that
@semantics or better yet @class (short for semantic classification)
would be a much better solution to the problem. I think the major
problem is up to this point and who knows how long, class has been
defined as a list of strings, but hasn't been typed beyond that.

If we could start to agree on semantic classifications and place them
in the class attribute we could also improve life for users as they
would have predictable classes to work with.

@role is more unique is that is singles off parts of the document.
Values of @role should be unique in the document (i.e. there can be
only one branding area, one navigation, one conent).

@role I think is a better candidate for elements themselves as it
really defines the structure underneath. Navigation has a well-defined
structure. Content has a well-defined structure. These structures are
well defined enough that we've gotten used to what they look like in

And while we can be generic with element names and use @role to
clarify I think we're much better off with structural roles tightly
integrated with tags. If not then everything is either <div> or
<span>. The difference here between structure and semantics is that
structural elements should have only one role, but potentially many
semantic classes. A div shouldn't both be navigation and content at
the same time. Though I could be wrong.


Orion Adrian
Received on Tuesday, 30 August 2005 13:31:51 UTC

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