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[Bug 9350] New: Make <wbr> element conforming

From: <bugzilla@wiggum.w3.org>
Date: Sat, 27 Mar 2010 22:02:33 +0000
To: public-html-bugzilla@w3.org
Message-ID: <bug-9350-2486@http.www.w3.org/Bugs/Public/>

           Summary: Make <wbr> element conforming
           Product: HTML WG
           Version: unspecified
          Platform: PC
        OS/Version: All
            Status: NEW
          Severity: normal
          Priority: P2
         Component: HTML5 spec bugs
        AssignedTo: dave.null@w3.org
        ReportedBy: mjs@apple.com
         QAContact: public-html-bugzilla@w3.org
                CC: ian@hixie.ch, mike@w3.org, public-html@w3.org

The <wbr> element is obsolete in HTML5, with the indication that authors should
"Use appropriate elements and/or CSS instead."

There is no element with the same presentational effect as <wbr>.

In the rendering section, rendering of <wbr> is described like so: "The wbr
element is expected to override the 'white-space' property and always provide a
line-breaking opportunity."

It's not clear if there is any CSS construct that has equivalent effect to
<wbr>. The spec does not name one (despite defining most similar constructs in
terms of CSS). The one implementation I checked (WebKit) special-cases
rendering of this element and produces render tree constructs that cannot be
created through use of CSS.

<pre> is conforming with a semantic of "a block of preformatted text". <br> is
conforming with the semantic of "a line break". Similarly the dir attribute and
the <bdo> element are conforming, with a primary purpose of affecting text

<wbr> should also be conforming, with a semantic of "a line break opportunity,
even in otherwise preformatted text". This seems similar in spirit to the other
elements named.

In any case it seems perverse to suggest that authors should "use appropriate
elements or CSS instead" of <wbr>, when there are no elements that provide an
alternative, and apparently no CSS either.

<wbr> is still used on the Web, often enough that browser engines must
implement it. Out of the Alexa top 10, only YouTube uses it:

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Received on Saturday, 27 March 2010 22:02:34 UTC

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