W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-style@w3.org > December 1998

RE: possibly frivolous suggestion

From: Braden N. McDaniel <braden@shadow.net>
Date: Tue, 1 Dec 1998 14:58:23 -0500
To: Håkon Wium Lie <howcome@w3.org>, <sue@css.nu>
Cc: "w3c style" <www-style@w3.org>
Message-ID: <002b01be1d64$f39891f0$01000080@bonezero>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: www-style-request@w3.org [mailto:www-style-request@w3.org]On
> Behalf Of Håkon Wium Lie
> Sent: Monday, November 30, 1998 8:54 AM
> To: sue@css.nu
> Cc: w3c style
> Subject: Re: possibly frivolous suggestion
>
>
> Sue Sims wrote:
>
>  > A "dedicated" tag is not required. My .rant class lives in my CSS
>  > file, where it should. I might be interested in some sort of
>  > standardization on commonly used class names (.note, .warning, .rant
>  > et.al.). I think Todd posted some at one time, but I can't locate
>  > them. I looked at the Dublin Core recently, but couldn't find them
>  > there, either. I did locate, from Todd's base.css, the following:
>  >
>  >  /* Suggested class names .advert .antithesis .callout .colophon
>  > .conclusion .credit
>  >  .detail .excursus .offsite .hilite .initial .irony .key .legal
>  > .marginalia .nav .note
>  >  .opposition .proposal .rant .remark .subhead .successive .summary
>  > .synthesis .teaser
>  >  .thesis .title .warn */
>  >
>  > Is there/should there be any effort to standardize on these?
>
> I don't think there is, I think there should.

Perhaps... But this is not a style sheet issue.

I've watched the debate over whether tags and classes can be structural or
stylistic--hogwash: both can be either.

It just so happens that most HTML elements are structural rather than
stylistic, but there is no rule that a markup language must be organized in
that fashion. Nor is there any rule that says that class names must be
stylistic descriptors.

This debate of such a non-issue is just an illustration of that fact that
this is not a CSS issue. If we need certain standardized classes, then they
should be part of the specification for the markup language. Of course, as
it has been pointed out, it may be better just to define elements. After
all, CLASS is basically a means of extending the element semantic in a
*user-defined* way. This proposal strikes me as possibly having lost sight
of that intent, but I can still see some utility in it. To use the ADDRESS
example, we might have classes like "salutation", etc. Is this any better
than more specific elements (like a SALUTATION element)? I don't know--it
isn't immediately apparent to me that it is.

But perhaps the argument is just that it would be nice to have a set of
classes that will be consistent across all markup languages? I don't agree
with that either: what's to keep the meaning of a class name from
duplicating existing meaning in a markup language? Which, in that case,
should authors elect to use?

It's not the place of CSS to define selector names. This, to me, is
basically the same as asking for a standard set of element names (which are
also selector names) that will be consistent across all markup languages to
which CSS can be expected to be applied.

Braden
Received on Tuesday, 1 December 1998 14:58:41 GMT

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