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Re: samp, kbd, var

From: Toby Inkster <tobyink@goddamn.co.uk>
Date: Wed, 23 Aug 2006 15:27:22 +0100
To: "Patrick H. Lauke" <redux@splintered.co.uk>, www-html@w3.org
Message-Id: <1156343242.13582.19.camel@ophelia.g5n.co.uk>

On Tue, 2006-08-22 at 18:40 +0100, Patrick H. Lauke wrote:
> One question that usually comes up in my mind is: why does compsci
> stuff like samp, kbd, var warrant its own element, and there are no 
> equivalent, very specific elements for other disciplines (e.g. 
> chemistry, to cross over with my other question regarding sub/sup)?
> What makes compsci stuff so special?

Yes -- this is mostly my point. XHTML 2 still has too much compsci stuff
in it. I can see how <code> can be useful: I use it myself frequently,
which is why it's not in the subject line of this thread.

<var> on the other hand, has always struck me as a specialised case of
<code>, not really deserving of its own element. If <var> deserves to be
an element, then so does <stanza> and <equation> and <chemical> and all
those other sorts of specialised things that a handful of people would
like, but most people would never use. 

But no, we have to draw a line somewhere -- which is why we shouldn't
have <stanza>, <equation> and <chemical>; and why, I believe, we
shouldn't have <var>.

Luckily XHTML 2 provides us with the lovely "role" attribute, which will
allow us to mark-up stanzas, equations, chemicals and, yes, variables in
a formal, semantic and interoperable manner without having to polute the
XHTML 2 namespace with all those extra elements.

We need to find the collective will to retire <var>.

Toby Inkster <tobyink@goddamn.co.uk>
Received on Wednesday, 23 August 2006 14:25:42 UTC

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