W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-html@w3.org > December 2005

Re: <spoiler> element

From: Jukka K. Korpela <jkorpela@cs.tut.fi>
Date: Sat, 10 Dec 2005 10:11:26 +0200 (EET)
To: W3C HTML List <www-html@w3.org>
Message-ID: <Pine.GSO.4.63.0512101000450.785@korppi.cs.tut.fi>

On Fri, 9 Dec 2005, Laurens Holst wrote:

> Jukka K. Korpela schreef:
>>> - both for the authours (the webmasters who have to know HTML)
>> You don't need to know elements that you don't have use for.
> Well, no The author *needs* to know the elements, or the end result is that 
> someone who happens to have a spoiler marks it up with #### SPOILER AHEAD 
> #### text instead of <spoiler> because he doesnt know about its existence.

What do authors do now? They write spoiler marks like the one you 
describe, or create some ad hoc method of hiding and revealing content
in "DHTML". A markup element would give a structured _option_.
Just as heading elements give a structured option - and cannot force
people to use them instead of <p><font ...> or <p class="heading1">

Besides, knowing about the existence of an element and knowing how to use 
it (exact syntax and semantics, relationship to other elements, etc.)
are different things. It would suffice to know that there is a <spoiler> 
element for content that is hidden by default but accessible to the user
on request. Only when you notice that you have something that might need
<spoiler> markup would you need to study the element's specific 

Regarding the name, <hidden> might be more suitable but not without 
problems. Perhaps <revealable> would be best.

> The same problem can already be seen with the current limited set of 
> elements, like <dfn> & co.

The <dfn> element was poorly designed and usually ignored in tutorials, so 
you cannot expect great success.

> So, giving HTML an abundance of generally unimportant elements will not 
> result in those elements being used. More so, it will harm the rest of XHTML 
> because the spec becomes too big for authors to oversee.

General importance cannot be measured in terms of expected frequency only.
The question is: what benefits does HTML markup offer in cases where it
could be used?

Jukka "Yucca" Korpela, http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/
Received on Saturday, 10 December 2005 08:11:39 UTC

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