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Re: [XHTML2] Inline list element proposal

From: Ernest Cline <ernestcline@mindspring.com>
Date: Tue, 9 Dec 2003 10:22:31 -0500
Message-ID: <410-220031229152231453@mindspring.com>
To: "Ineke van der Maat" <inekemaa@xs4all.nl>
Cc: "W3C CSS List" <www-style@w3.org>


Also sent to list, as my response to Ineke also serves I hope
to answer other criticisms.

> [Original Message]
> From: Ineke van der Maat
>
> Hello Ernst;
>
> >You wrote:
> >Embedded inside that paragraph of my example is a list,
> ><ul>
> ><label>The Fellowship of The Ring</label>
> ><li>Frodo</li>
> ....
> ></ul>
>
> I consider what you want as a pure presentational problem.

Yes, the presentational effects of what the my proposal does
can be achieved [1] using existing elements via at least three
alternatives. However, each of these alternatives has
certain structural problems that my inline list proposal
addresses.  These problems cannot be addressed by any
existing alternative that I can see.

Let me repeat my example below and then give three alternatives
followed by the problems each has

EXAMPLE:

<p>
<il><label>The Fellowship of the Ring</label> consisted of nine members.
<ili>Frodo</ili> and <ili>Sam</ili> were selected at the Council of Elrond,
along with <ili>Gandalf</ili>, <ili>Aragorn</ili>, <ili>Boromir</ili>,
<ili>Gimli</ili>, and <ili>Legolas</ili>. Only reluctantly did Elrond
consent to including the other two hobbits that accompanied Frodo to
Rivendell, <ili>Merry</ili> and <ili>Pippin</ili></il>, in the Fellowship,
as he had thought to send them back to the Shire to warn the Hobbits.
</p>

Here the list is embedded inside a paragraph of regular text.

ALTERNATIVE 1:
Provide both the paragraph and the list:
Use styling to present only one or the other.

<style>
ul.fellowship {display:none}
</style>
...
<p class="fellowship">
The Fellowship of the Ring consisted of nine members.
Frodo and Sam were selected at the Council of Elrond,
along with Gandalf, Aragorn, Boromir,
Gimli, and Legolas. Only reluctantly did Elrond
consent to including the other two hobbits that accompanied Frodo to
Rivendell, Merry and Pippin, in the Fellowship,
as he had thought to send them back to the Shire to warn the Hobbits.
</p>
<ul class="fellowship">
<label>The Fellowship of the Ring</label>.
<li>Frodo</li>
<li>Sam</li>
<li>Gandalf</li>
<li>Aragorn</li>
<li>Boromir</li>,
<li>Gimli</li>
<li>Legolas</li>
<li>Merry</li>
<li>Pippin</li>
</ul>

Problems:
1) In the absence of any styling, the information will be presented twice.
2) Duplication of the info increases the chance that an error will be made,
particularly if since editing of the information will need to be done twice.

ALTERNATIVE 2:
Provide only the list and rely upon styling to provide the appearance
of running text when needed.

<style>
#fellowship * {display:inline}
#fellowship label::after{
 content:" consisted of nine members. "
}
#fellowship :contains("Frodo")::after ,
#fellowship :contains("Merry")::after {
content:" and "
}
#fellowship :contains("Sam")::after {
content:" were selected at the Council of Elrond, along with "
}
#fellowship :contains("Gandalf")::after ,
#fellowship :contains("Aragorn")::after ,
#fellowship :contains("Boromir")::after {
content:", "
}
#fellowship :contains("Gimli")::after {
content:", and "
}
#fellowship :contains("Legolas")::after {
content:". Only reluctantly did Elrond consent to including the other
two hobbits that accompanied Frodo to Rivendell, "
}
#fellowship :contains("Pippin")::after {
content:", in the Fellowship, as he had thought to send them back
to the Shire to warn the Hobbits."
}
</style>
...
<ul id="fellowship">
<label>The Fellowship of the Ring</label>.
<li>Frodo</li>
<li>Sam</li>
<li>Gandalf</li>
<li>Aragorn</li>
<li>Boromir</li>,
<li>Gimli</li>
<li>Legolas</li>
<li>Merry</li>
<li>Pippin</li>
</ul>

Problems:
1) In the absence of styling the paragraph cannot be presented.
2) A clear abuse of styling. The text in which the list is embedded
is content not styling and thus should not be added by styling.

ALTERNATIVE 3:
Provide the paragraph and use styling to present the list
in a more usual list style when desired.

<style>
.il {visibility:hidden}
.il .label, .il .ili {display:block; visibility:visible}
.il label {font-weight:bold}
</style>
...
<p class="il">
<span class="label">The Fellowship of the Ring</span> consisted of nine
members. <span class="ili">Frodo</span> and
<span class="ili">Sam</span> were selected at the Council of Elrond,
along with <span class="ili">Gandalf</span>,
<span class="ili">Aragorn</span>, <span class="ili">Boromir</span>,
<span class="ili">Gimli</span>, and <span class="ili">Legolas</span>.
Only reluctantly did Elrond consent to including the other two hobbits
that accompanied Frodo to Rivendell, <span class="ili">Merry</span>
and <span class="ili">Pippin</span>, in the Fellowship, as he had
thought to send them back to the Shire to warn the Hobbits.
</p>

Problem:
Well, it may look like a list, but tools that extract lists from documents
for whatever reason will have no way to know that it is a list.

[1] For purposes of parallelism, I have assumed that the <label>
element is added to the content model of <ul>
Received on Tuesday, 9 December 2003 10:22:29 GMT

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