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RE: About XHTML 2.0

From: Edward Lass <elass@goer.state.ny.us>
Date: Mon, 23 May 2005 11:05:36 -0400
Message-Id: <s291b913.048@mail.goer.state.ny.us>
To: <www-html@w3.org>

Do you suppose there's a conflict here between people looking for
document semantics and people who think more about web applications?

For instance, the benefits of replacing the br element with the l
element are from a processing perspective: you can grab the information
and manipulate it. For people who don't do that, the advantage is that
we're ready to do it when needed.  As a use-case of this: I'm working on
a document right now, replicating a paper source, that has sections.  I
was originally going to use <h3 id="sec01"> but opted for <div
id="sec01" class="section"> <h3> etc. for better semantics down the
road.  Because my document has headers, the border I'm adding in CSS is
purely presentational.

I think there's a well-intentioned effort to steer everybody towards
this same conclusion.  And I can see the perspective, because a
separator element does have the potential for abuse: it shouldn't be
used when sections give better semantics, as in my case.

Orion had mentioned a book that uses lightweight separators to
distinguish between narrators.[1]  Books typically have chapters, and
these certainly can be considered sections. So then, is each narrator's
perspective also a section?  The author may not have intended it that
way.  Not everything should necessarily be "chunked."

I won't repeat Mark's excellent use-case below, which I think
illustrates this point even better.

- Ed.

[1] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/www-html/2005May/0027.html 

>>> "Mark Birbeck" <mark.birbeck@x-port.net> 5/23/2005 8:28:19 AM >>>


I don't understand why this is getting so complicated. There are plenty
use-cases for something that comes between two items (a separator) in
*semantic* way. That's not presentational, and the two objects being
separated are not something that might need a name. It's like a 'pause'
you are reading.

But the pause you just mentally inserted for my new paragraph is too
for what we want here as a separator (even though it was too long for
actual text); paragraphs tend to indicate that the main narrative is
running, but we're going to take another little step along its route.

And the pause you have just mentally inserted here is much too big,
I've implied by the section heading that I am about to go into
different. On seeing that heading you'd have felt justified in going
off to
make coffee before you started reading the next 'section', and whilst
coffee you would have expected to be able to ponder my previous
and then come back ready to start something slightly different. You'd
be a
bit surprised if you returned to find that I was still in the same
paragraph, but had decided I needed a separator, and so used a

So we need something that is a bigger break than the end of a sentence
paragraph, but something that doesn't need a name, and is not a new
Seems to me <separator> fits the bill perfectly.




> -----Original Message-----
> From: www-html-request@w3.org 
> [mailto:www-html-request@w3.org] On Behalf Of Mikko Rantalainen
> Sent: 23 May 2005 12:55
> To: www-html@w3.org 
> Subject: Re: About XHTML 2.0
> Orion Adrian wrote:
> > them all. They really do fall under the same classification 
> as <sup> 
> > and <sub>. Still <seperator /> is necessary.
> There's one crucial difference between <sup>/<sub> and
> <separator>/<hr>/<br>: the former have content but latter are 
> always empty.
> I thought that this was one of the major reasons to get rid 
> of <br> in favor to <l> element. This time, we're looking for 
> separator between elements instead of lines of text, but the 
> same reasoning still applies.
> As I wrote in another post, every time a <hr> or <separator> 
> is used, a <h> element could be instead to give the following 
> part a name. It's part of the presentation that the name of 
> the part is not displayed (and some authors think that 
> because the name wouldn't get displayed by default 
> presentation, no name needs to be encoded in the DOM either).
> The another possible use case for the <separator> is inside 
> navigation lists:
>    <nl>
>      <label />
>      <li />
>      <li />
>      <separator />
>      <li />
>    </nl>
> But in this case, too, I feel that it would be better for 
> non-sighted person that <separator> would be replaced with a 
> <label> to give name to the items that follow in the next 
> part. If the <nl> content model doesn't allow multiple 
> <label> element that's the problem we need to fix. Hiding 
> some header or label from the user or replacing it with a 
> line or with a couple of stars is just part of the presentation,
> --
> Mikko
Received on Monday, 23 May 2005 15:05:15 UTC

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