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Re: XHTML 2.0 - dfn : Content model and usability (PR#7832)

From: Shane McCarron <xhtml2-issues@hades.mn.aptest.com>
Date: Tue, 24 Jan 2006 16:22:57 +0000
To: karl@w3.org
Cc: www-html@w3.org
Message-Id: <20060124162245.086017B6C6@hades.mn.aptest.com>




Karl,

We will introduce a "definition" value for @role, and will clarify that a dfn
element declares the term that is being defined by the enclosing scope that has
a role of definition, should there be one.

> 
> We had a discussion on a French Web developer mailing-list  
> [pompeurs][1] about dfn. The first comment was about the understanding  
> of the definition in the specification. The second comment was about  
> usability and to know if it was very useful.
> 
> 
> * Understanding DFN
> 
> [[[
> 9.4. The dfn element
> 
> The dfn element contains the defining instance of the enclosed term.
> 
> * Attributes
> 
> The Common collection
> 
> A collection of other attribute collections, including: Bi-
> directional, Core, Edit, Embedding, Events, Forms, Hypertext, I18N,
> Map, and Metainformation.
> 
> * Example
> 
> An <dfn id="def-acronym">acronym</dfn> is a word formed
> from the initial letters or groups of letters of words in a set
> phrase or series of words.
> ]]] -  
> http://www.w3.org/TR/2005/WD-xhtml2-20050527/mod- 
> text.html#edef_text_dfn
> 
> 
> Maybe the first sentence should be something like:
> 
> The dfn element contains a word (or a group of words) being defined by  
> one or more sentences.
> 
> 
> * Usability
> 
> It may be good to give usability examples of this element. Why is it  
> useful to use this element?
> 
> 1. Human Usability.
> 
> Defined once somewhere with an "id" (mandatory ?), the definition can  
> be linked from another document, or another part of the text referring  
> to this definition. It's human usability. Though someone could argue  
> that:
> 
> 	An <span id="def-acronym">acronym</span> is a word
> 	formed from the initial letters or groups of letters
>      of words in a set phrase or series of words.
> 
> is not a loss in usability at all. The dfn element having not direct  
> benefits for the user. Even better someone could choose to do.
> 
> 	Blah blah blah. <span id="def-acronym">An acronym is a word
> 	formed from the initial letters or groups of letters
>      of words in a set phrase or series of words.</span> Blah blah blah.
> 
> then it gives the same functionality for the user and it's easier to  
> extract the _exact_ definition.
> 
> 
> 2. Machine Usability.
> 
> Is dfn useful for a machine, a semantics analyzer agent or just a tool  
> to create a list of definition, a glossary from one or a series of  
> page. If we take the example given in XHTML 2.0 right now, I would be  
> inclined to say no.
> 
> 	An <span id="def-acronym">acronym</span> is a word
> 	formed from the initial letters or groups of letters
>      of words in a set phrase or series of words.
> 
> There's a missing element to be really useful.
> 
> 	- A definition can be created by more than one sentence.
> 
> 	<span clas="def">An <span id="def-acronym">acronym</span>
> 	is a word formed from the initial letters or groups
> 	of letters of words in a set phrase or series of words.
> 	Another sentence. Yet another sentence.</span>
> 
> 	- A definition can be included in a more general paragraph.
> 
> 	Some prose. <span clas="def">An <span id="def-acronym">acronym</span>
> 	is a word formed from the initial letters or groups
> 	of letters of words in a set phrase or series of words.</span>
> 	Some another prose.
> 
> Without the span here, it's impossible for an agent to extract the  
> definition and make a glossary. The user, for sure, could have the  
> choice to do what I have just done, add span in the text. But that  
> would be with a random definition of the class name or the way to do  
> it.
> 
> So I'm not sure if dfn element is useful being underspecified.
> 
> I propose either
> 	- to drop it from the specification
> 	- to add an element making possible to use it for automatic purpose.
> 
> 
> [1]: http://fr.groups.yahoo.com/group/pompeurs/
> 
> -- 
> Karl Dubost - http://www.w3.org/People/karl/
> W3C Conformance Manager
> *** Be Strict To Be Cool ***
> 
> 
Received on Tuesday, 24 January 2006 17:37:15 GMT

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