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Re: separator/seperator Re: About XHTML 2.0

From: Jukka K. Korpela <jkorpela@cs.tut.fi>
Date: Fri, 3 Jun 2005 19:09:49 +0300 (EEST)
To: www-html@w3.org
Message-ID: <Pine.GSO.4.58.0506031854120.28286@korppi.cs.tut.fi>

On Fri, 3 Jun 2005, Orion Adrian wrote:

> Can you give me an example of anywhere, anywhere that styling groups
> of paragraphs has been used other than in the case of separators. Then
> ask yourself, how rare are those?

How often have lines been styled other than by separators (line breaks)?
Well, rather often in fact, but people don't think about that if they have
to use separators, <br />, and not containers.

Paragraph groups are actually styled rather often. For example, in a book,
italics might be used for a passage (group of paragraphs) to indicate it
as different from the main flow of narration. Or a passage might be
printed indented and in smaller font to indicate it as less important.

Or think about the case where <hr /> has been used especially often
on Web pages, to separate the document proper from some authorship
information and notes on the document (last update, etc.). Usually that
content is in small print, or should be, or at least could be. In fact, a
horizontal rule might be rather unnecessary.

> Empty elements do not garuntee a move into presentation and I'll prove
> it right now.
>
> <img>
>
> Wow, what a shocker.

Indeed, it proves just the opposite of your claim. The <img> element was
badly designed (or just invented) from the beginning. HTML 4 tried to
replace it by <object>, which is _not_ an empty element, but failed since
people were used to <img> and browsers sabotaged <object> with horrendous
implementations.

> Empty elements as SMGL spec says represent
> replaced content

Yes, that was the original idea - for purposes other than those of HTML.
There was never any good reason to make <img> an empty element, as the
more recent history shows

> like our wonderful <separator>/<transition>/<sep>
> element (whatever you want to call it).

No, that's not what the original SGML idea means, not at all. It's not a
placeholder for content that comes from somewhere else. It's just
presentational markup (in more disguise than <hr>, which was naively
honest in its _name_).

> What content data am I throwing into attributes? I don't even
> undestand this one.

Think about <meta>. Or even <img>. Surely the alt attribute's value is
(alternate) _content_, not a property of the element.

-- 
Jukka "Yucca" Korpela, http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/
Received on Friday, 3 June 2005 16:09:55 UTC

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