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Re: [CSS21] zindex.html "element" terminology

From: Anton Prowse <prowse@moonhenge.net>
Date: Mon, 16 Jul 2012 08:39:34 +0200
Message-ID: <5003B726.4050702@moonhenge.net>
To: www-style@w3.org
CC: Peter Moulder <peter.moulder@monash.edu>
On 16/07/2012 07:00, Peter Moulder wrote:
> On Sun, Jul 15, 2012, Anton Prowse wrote in one thread:
>
>> [Despite the fact that Appendix E is written in terms of the stacking
>> context and its descendants being elements not boxes, the proposal
>> relies on the term "block container" which is currently a box term
>> that's undefined for elements.  It would be great if we could just
>> define "block container element" sensibly.]
>
> and in another thread:
>
>> Recently I hit upon yet another place in the spec where the context
>> is elements and where the spec needs to be updated to refer to block
>> containers: Appendix E. [1]  The new text will be incongruous if we
>> don't define "block container element".
>
> The above two both contain something of an error in that although Appendix E
> uses the word "element", it's explicit that it uses the word in a special sense
> (see E.1, where it's defined to mean something quite a lot like "box"; and the
> phrase "For each box that is a child of that element" also suggests a very
> box-like understanding of what Appendix E means by "element").
>
> Thus, it's wrong or at least misleading to describe appendix E
> as being about "elements and not boxes".

D'oh!  Thanks for pointing that out.  I was aware of that in the past, 
but I certainly had forgotten that when working on Appendix E the other day.

> Although there remain some issues as to exactly what Appendix E means by an
> "element" and its descendants, I think the above shows that the existing use of
> the word "element" is causing problems: in a reference document such as the CSS
> 2.1 spec, people expect to be able to understand the meaning of a paragraph (or
> a phrase such as "If the element is a block container", in the current case)
> without reading the whole chapter to see that the word "element" has a
> different meaning in this appendix to the rest of the spec.

Yep, that would be nice ;-)

> I suggest that it should at least use a different word or phrase
> ("render-element" ?), and wouldn't be surprised if simply "box" ended up being
> the right word.

I wouldn't be surprised either!

Cheers,
Anton
Received on Monday, 16 July 2012 06:40:08 GMT

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