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Re: XHTML 2.0 - dfn : Content model and usability

From: Karl Dubost <karl@w3.org>
Date: Tue, 5 Jul 2005 11:55:16 -0400
Message-Id: <FAA880F6-AB03-4A12-A602-332CB27D2300@w3.org>
Cc: www-html-editor@w3.org, www-html@w3.org
To: Laurens Holst <lholst@students.cs.uu.nl>

Laurens,

thanks for your comment.

Le 05-07-05 à 11:19, Laurens Holst a écrit :
> Karl Dubost schreef:
>
>> Without the span here, it's impossible for an agent to extract  
>> the  definition and make a glossary. The user, for sure, could  
>> have the  choice to do what I have just done, add span in the  
>> text. But that  would be with a random definition of the class  
>> name or the way to do  it.
>>
>
> <dfn> exists for two reasons: Index generation (overview of  
> keywords, and page number), and typographic purposes, to indicate a  
> word is a term which is newly introduced and explained. It is one  
> of the more useful text markup elements of HTML.

1. Index Generation: Overview of keywords

As in, for example,
     http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml2/elements.html
     http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml2/attributes.html

Then that would be too good example to add to the specification, to  
give more hints to the people using the specification.

2. Index Generation: Page number

huh? :) As I agree that it's cool to have XHTML reusable for printing  
purpose, it's not the initial goal of XHTML. The notion of page  
numbering is a bit confusing on a screen. Or maybe I miss something,  
like screen pagination for navigation? Could you give an example and  
again if interesting, that would be another use case to add to the  
specification.

3. Typographic purposes
     Do you mean CSS styling?
     Do you mean printing?

Because dfn doesn't add anything on a <span class="def"></span> for  
this purpose. Defining semantics of elements is fine with me, but if  
they are useful in a semantic way for the user.


> Something to actually mark up the explanation of the definition  
> would be somewhat nice, but it would be less useful

:) How could it be less useful?
Adding something on top of something you said was "more useful text  
markup elements of HTML" and that you said "would be nice" will not  
make it less useful ;)


> and more bothersome to write, as it is difficult to determine where  
> an explanation starts, and such an explanation can span multiple  
> paragraphs (kinda like q vs. blockquote).

Agreed. And it's why I _dislike_ the block/inline model of elements  
in XHTML/HTML.

> Especially because it takes the text out of context, I don’t think  
> making glossaries based on this is a good idea, nor very useful.

If you can produce a dl/dt/dd glossary parsing a text for definition.  
You gain time.

Thanks Laurens for adding to the understanding. The Editors might  
want to add examples to clarify the use cases.


-- 
Karl Dubost - http://www.w3.org/People/karl/
W3C Conformance Manager
*** Be Strict To Be Cool ***
Received on Tuesday, 5 July 2005 15:55:27 GMT

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