W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-style@w3.org > January 2003

Re: XBL is (mostly) W3C redundant, and CSS is wrong W3C layer for semantic behavior *markup*

From: John Lewis <lewi0371@mrs.umn.edu>
Date: Thu, 2 Jan 2003 16:19:25 -0600
Message-ID: <79115629476.20030102161925@cda.mrs.umn.edu>
To: www-style@w3.org

Shelby wrote on Thursday, January 2, 2003 at 3:02:33 PM:

> This discussion is going to have to end for me real soon. I've got
> other work (and personal life) to attend to.

Fair enough.

> At 06:38 AM 1/2/2003 -0600, John Lewis wrote:
>>Shelby wrote on Wednesday, January 1, 2003 at 4:36:36 PM:
>>> Note the *KEY* point that class selector is not __semantic___
>>> markup.
>> Selectors aren't markup at all. After this sentence, I honestly
>> understood very little of your reply. I'll reply to what I do
>> understand.

> Class selectors are embedded in markup.

No, they are not any more than any other type of selector. There is
nothing special about class selectors in this regard; every other
selector can appear in the same places as class selectors. Class
selectors cannot appear in special places that other selectors aren't

For example, I have a user style sheet on this machine with many class
selectors. The CSS file sits on my hard drive and is applied directly
by my web browser (Opera) when I choose it from a list of user style
sheets. Those class selectors are absolutely not embedded in markup of
any kind.

>> The class attribute, a part of HTML, is a way to mark up *text* for
>> "style sheets" and "general purpose processing."

> You are playing with the fuzzy and mbiguous nature of english
> language.

Actually, I'm being exact. Class attributes (in HTML) and class
selectors (in CSS) are two entirely different things.

The <h1> tag in an HTML document is markup. The h1 selector in CSS is
an unrelated mechanism for matching h1 elements in an HTML document
for the purpose of assigning style to it. Similarly, the attribute
class="warning" in an HTML document is markup. The selector
[class~=warning] (or .warning) in CSS is not markup. The elements are
defined in HTML, the attributes are defined by HTML, and the attribute
values are defined by the HTML document's author(s). The CSS is
defined by whoever is writing it (usually the same persons writing the
HTML document). I agree that class attributes and class selectors are
usually defined by the same person, and that makes them more useful,
but I don't think that makes them identical by any means.

> I am just saying basically that class selectors is a mechanism for
> non-semanticallly associating things with the markup. The
> ___selection___ by class does not consider the semantics of the
> elements of markup.

That's true (if by "things" you mean "style"). The selection is
defined and happens in CSS, not HTML.

Do you think it *should* consider the "semantics of the elements of
markup"? (I don't.)

Received on Thursday, 2 January 2003 17:20:12 UTC

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