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[Bug 8404] Refocus the figure element back to being a figure

From: <bugzilla@wiggum.w3.org>
Date: Mon, 30 Nov 2009 23:35:11 +0000
To: public-html-bugzilla@w3.org
Message-Id: <E1NFFlv-0004Uw-7K@wiggum.w3.org>

--- Comment #18 from Shelley Powers <shelleyp@burningbird.net>  2009-11-30 23:35:10 ---
(In reply to comment #16)
> I should note by the way that I was in agreement with Shelley's opinion that a
> figure can only be an image  until this morning when I studied a large number
> of examples from the various science, engineering and social science textbooks
> I have around, as well as samples of academic papers, and practical programming
> books. Seeing how figures are used in practice convinced me that they need a
> very broad content model.

I don't think it's a good idea, though, to allow the exceptions to guide what
is default behavior. 

Remember there's nothing with refocusing figure back to images that doesn't
preclude people also including an HTML table when they need a table. But they
would embed the table directly in the content, rather than a figure. 

As the publication you showed demonstrated, figures are treated separately from
code examples, and from tables. By simplifying figure, we're not precluding
people from using what has existed for years: tables and code. 

Even if HTML5 ends up being adopted by ePub, which we assume will happen
someday, most book authors would not put an HTML table within a figure. Figures
would be considered images. In fact, images are always considered references to
external files (currently, JPEG, PNG, GIF, and SVG). 

In point of fact, HTML tables are a bit of a problem with the ebook industry,
but the tools are improving. And code samples have their own elements, with
their own captions, and their own reference: Example 1, Example 2, and so on.

So I don't think that restricting figure to svg, canvas, img, object, video,
and pre, would be an onerous burden on the scientific book community. I believe
that allowing anything in figure, with the confusion about the name I've seen
demonstrated this last week, and then repurposing dt/dd and forcing wrapping
with a div element because of limitations of IE6/IE7 is more of a burden.

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Received on Monday, 30 November 2009 23:35:12 UTC

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