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Re: [SVGMobile12] SVGT12-207: <title> does not define what the title is

From: Chris Lilley <chris@w3.org>
Date: Thu, 6 Apr 2006 14:18:26 +0200
Message-ID: <1127100596.20060406141826@w3.org>
To: www-svg@w3.org
Cc: Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>

Hello www-svg,

Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch> wrote

> The question is exactly what text string is the title. For example, in 
> these snippets (none of which are "in error"):
>    <svg:title> Hello World </svg:title>
>    <svg:title> Hello <svg:defs>World</svg:defs> </svg:title>
>    <svg:title> <html:p>Hello World</html:p> </svg:title>
>    <svg:title> Hello <html:noscript>World</html:noscript> </svg:title>
> ...what should the UA use as the text? I mean, please give the exact 
> literal string that a conformant UA would put in the application's title 
> bar, or in a tooltip, or wherever it puts the title.
> The same applies to <desc> and the description.

OK, so its not what the title (and desc) elements are *for* that you are asking. Nor is it what the contents of the title and elements are (a questiontat is answered by the XML specification).

Your use of "*the* title" and mention of the title bar leads us to suspect that instead, perhaps guided by common practice with the single title element that HTML provides as a child of the head element, you are asking how to present the title, perhaps as a single flattened string displayed on the top bar of the window chrome, on systems that use windows and use that location to display a single title for the current window? 

We agree that is one possible thing to do with a title element. There are other things to do with it as well,including searching, navigation, help during wysiwyg editing, and voicing them as the user explored a graphic via an  accessibility helper application.

Note too that in contrast to html, svg allows multiple elements to have a title element as child. So, looking for a single element to display in the window chrome is inappropriate here- there will often be mutiple titles.

Its rather like the title attributes that you may be familiar with from html; except that the internationalization people tell us that elements are preferred to attributes for that sort of thing, and we followed their advice. One of the reasons the prefer elements over attributes is that they can contain markup. SVG does not constrain the markup that may be used in title, desc and metadata elements. For example, ruby markup might be usefully used; same for speech lexicon markup.

If you are looking for a suitable way to display the first, or topmost, title element as a simple unstyled text string in window chrome, we suggest that using the flattened text content may prove suitable.

The precise facilities provided by a windowing system in terms of text formatting are likely to change over time. And that is only one possible use of a title element. 

 Chris Lilley                    mailto:chris@w3.org
 Chair, W3C SVG Working Group
 W3C Graphics Activity Lead
 Co-Chair, W3C Hypertext CG
Received on Thursday, 6 April 2006 12:18:59 UTC

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