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Re: XHTML 2.0 - dfn : Content model and usability

From: Rob Mientjes <robmientjes@gmail.com>
Date: Tue, 5 Jul 2005 18:34:23 +0200
Message-ID: <e8e97f9f05070509347422fdea@mail.gmail.com>
To: Karl Dubost <karl@w3.org>
Cc: Laurens Holst <lholst@students.cs.uu.nl>, www-html-editor@w3.org, www-html@w3.org

On 7/5/05, Karl Dubost <karl@w3.org> wrote:
> 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.

You are kind of ignoring the more important bit here, namely that DFN
is also used for keyword indexing. If Google were a better bot, it
would use the <dfn> tags on pages to give them more weight, which they
have. Not just that. A small app that would simply list all DFNs on
that page with links to them would be very handy for a wiki page where
some stuff does not require a new page, for example.

> 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.

... It does have semantic meaning. The fact alone that a UA could say
"hey punk, take a look at this word, for it's defined somewhere near
it. You might want to know" makes it semantic :)

> > 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 ;)

Like I said, it's useful enough. Don't use Laurens's aside remark
regarding just the lack of a way to mark up the _explanation_ to
undermine the whole essence of a DFN element. It's lacking, yeah, but
it does not obsolete DFN at all.

> > 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.

No, obviously not. Referencing, however, is exactly what the web is
about, and I see DFN as just another means to do so.

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

Agreed. DL is the only sensible way to do _that_, but again, it does
not obsolete DFN.

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

Examples are always good. I believe the CSSWG has a complete new team
just for composing examples ;)

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Received on Tuesday, 5 July 2005 16:34:27 UTC

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