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Re: separator/seperator Re: About XHTML 2.0

From: Orion Adrian <orion.adrian@gmail.com>
Date: Mon, 23 May 2005 13:46:04 -0400
Message-ID: <abd6c80105052310466df14da2@mail.gmail.com>
To: www-html@w3.org

I could care less how it looks frankly and no document structure at
the section level is taught to be designed before the actual writing
(see every child's English book on writing an outline before writing
the document).

<separator /> passes my acid test by being capable of being described
both visually and aurally and abstractly. Separators pass the test.

<section> cannot be used except in overly document structure. If it is
used for anything else it completely falls apart. Let's say that I
number the paragraphs in my document so that each paragraph gets a
number based on its position in the overall document.

<section>
  <p>I will be 1.1</p>
  <p>I will be 1.2</p>
  <section>
    <p>I will be 1.2.1</p>
    <p>I will be 1.2.2</p>
  </section>
</section>

I start throwing in sections for other reasons and that falls apart.
And if you don't like <p> imagine it with anything else. You can't
just throw an extra <ol> into a list because you feel like there
should be a pause.

<section> creates the overall document structure. It can not be used
for every type of grouping. Also don't forget you have <div> which is
where you should be putting attributes like that. I'm not advocating
the removal of <div> as a light-weight grouping tool, but I am
opposing the removal of <separator /> as a literary tool.

My goal is that 99% of books and imageless manuals should be able to
be represented with HTML as is without any additional CSS. <div> and
<group> require CSS to accomplish the same task.

Will people abuse <separator />? Yes. They will abuse <p> even. It
isn't the goal of HTML to keep people from using the tools improperly.
I use screwdrivers to open up my paint cans and not the paint can
opener tool. The manufacturer doesn't care that I misused the
screwdriver and I don't care cause it does a good job.

However if the screwdriver didn't do a good job as opening paint cans
I wouldn't blame the manufacturer. I am going to try and stay away
from a religious battle with the W3C over imposing viewpoints.

Here's the issue with depth. All elements of a particular type in a
document at the same depth should have the same semantic value. And
while <section class="X"> seems like a nice approach that assumes that
every group can be broken up into class X. It also assumes that I, as
an author, wish to apply the same <separation /> semantics to every
change in X.

<separation /> is useful, lightweight, allows for less typing and is
in many ways a nice convenience while not detracting at all from the
semantic web. So what's the problem? It solves lots of problems while
not causing any and there is a clear use for it. If only all the
elements in HTML had met that goal.

Orion Adrian

On 5/23/05, Sebastian Redl <sebastian.redl@getdesigned.at> wrote:
> 
> 
> 
> 
> Orion Adrian wrote:
> 
> >The issue I have with this approach is that it creates issues with sub-sections.
> >
> >
> >For section to work appropriately, text must be able to be placed in
> >the exact section level that it is meant to be placed. This means that
> >section can't be used for anything other than creating the overarching
> >organization of the document. Any other uses prevents proper styling
> >and filtering.
> >
> >If I wanted only the text from section level 1 to section level 3 I
> >don't want two block of text to disappear just because I need to
> >seperate them to communicate a perspective shift for example.
> >
> >Orion Adrian
> >
> >
> >
> In this case, however, your document structure is wrong, not the
> semantics of section.
> 
> Think about what a separator does: it separates. What does it separate,
> though? Does it separate paragraphs? No, that's what starting a new
> paragraph does. Does it separate sections? No, that's what starting a
> new section does. What is between a section and a paragraph? To stay
> with earlier examples, is it a perspective? But isn't a perspective a
> lower-priority section? I certainly think so.
> A book that has perspective changes might have this format, then:
> 
> <section class="chapter">
> <h>Chapter 1</h>
> <section class="scene">
> <section class="perspective">
> <p>It was a dark and stormy night. Thick fog hung over the countryside
> like carbon dioxide on a film set.</p>
> </section>
> <section class="perspective">
> <p>She hated storms. Hated them with a passion.</p>
> </section>
> </section>
> <section class="scene">
> <section class="perspective">
> <p>This scene has only one perspective. So what?</p>
> </section>
> </section>
> </section>
> 
> Lots of sections there. But it is not wrong, and it completely removes
> the need for the separators. Still have styling issues? Change your
> stylesheet then.
> 
> In fact, the perspective change is a particularly bad example. Let's for
> the moment suppose I add my own namespace to XHTML 2, one that only
> defines a single attribute, 'perspective', which, applied to a section,
> denotes whose viewpoint this is. (Then I use CSS to attach different
> fonts to the different characters or different voices in an aural
> stylesheet.)
> With the section-based layout, I have this:
> 
> <section class="perspective" book:perspective="Omniscient">
> <p>It was a dark and stormy night. Thick fog hung over the countryside
> like carbon dioxide on a film set.</p>
> </section>
> <section class="perspective" book:perspective="Laura">
> <p>She hated storms. Hated them with a passion.</p>
> </section>
> 
> With the separator-based:
> 
> <section class="perspective" book:perspective="Omniscient">
> <p>It was a dark and stormy night. Thick fog hung over the countryside
> like carbon dioxide on a film set.</p>
> <separator/><!-- Where to put that attribute? -->
> <p>She hated storms. Hated them with a passion.</p>
> <p>Another paragraph.</p>
> <p>And another, just to show the impracticability of putting the
> attribute on the paragraph tag.</p>
> </section>
> 
> For your final comment, that you don't want the text to disappear if you
> select section levels 1-3 ... obviously you've chosen the wrong section
> levels. You want that text, and it's in section level 4. How then can
> you complain that you don't get it if you're dismissing level 4?
> It seems as though you're trying to fit the document structure to your
> preconceived notion of how it should look. That's the wrong approach.
> Document structure must be discovered, not created.
> 
> Sebastian Redl
> 
> 
>
Received on Monday, 23 May 2005 17:46:12 UTC

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