Thanks for your response.  The point I was trying to make is that
<dialog> is still making an association.  It associates (A) what is said
with (B) the person who said it.  The fact it uses <dt> and <dd>, the
same inner elements as <dl>, is evidence enough of that.  I was
suggesting that definition list had been confusingly specified in the
first place, and more clearly specifying an association list (either by
adjusting the specification for <dl> or by creating a replacement
element such as <al>) could better serve all purposes, including marking
up dialogue.


-----Original Message-----
From: Ian Hickson [] 
Sent: 30 August 2009 22:59
To: Emma Pratt
Subject: Re: DIALOG v. DL??

On Fri, 21 Aug 2009, Emma Pratt wrote:
> Someone recently pointed out the <dialog> element, which is part of
> current HTML5 specification.  I understand the usefulness of elements 
> that can mark-up a conversation thread, but doesn't corrupting <dl>
> further muddy things?

The reason for introducing a new element is precisely to avoid
<dl> at all.

> I'm aware definition lists were rather loosely specified in HTML4,
> has lead to all sorts of debate on their usage among developers, but 
> wouldn't it be better to have a more generic way of coding a list of 
> associated items rather than a multitude of context specific elements?

I'm not really sure what you mean. <dialog> isn't related to <dl>.

   </dl> A and B with 1 and 2, and C with 3.

<dialog> is for marking up dialogue, and is unrelated to <dl>.

> During our recent discussion, someone suggested having an association 
> list.  This could handle glossaries, dialog, and a whole range of
> types of association... although I don't think such lists should
> a sensible heading structure, just as definition lists shouldn't have.

I don't think a dialog and a glossary are equivalent at all. <dl> is the

element for assocation lists. <dialog> is for conversations.
aren't association lists.

> Here are some potential examples (using association list - al, list
> - li, association term - at, association data - ad):
> <h2>Coder's Glossary</h2>
> <al>
>  <li>
>   <at>HTML</at>
>   <ad>Hyper-Text Markup Language</ad>
>   <ad>predominent markup language for web pages</ad>
>  </li>
>  <li>
>   <at>element</at>
>   <at>tag</at>
>   <ad>basic components for code markup</ad>
>  </li>
> </al>

You can do that today:

   <h2>Coder's Glossary</h2>
    <dd>Hyper-Text Markup Language</dd>
    <dd>predominent markup language for web pages</dd>
    <dd>basic components for code markup</dd>

> <h2>Conversation</h2>
> <al>
>  <li>
>   <at>Emma</at>
>   <ad>Why didn't you specify an association list?</ad>
>  </li>
>  <li>
>   <at></at>
>   <at>...</ad>
>  </li>
> </al>

You can do that in HTML5:

    <dd>Why didn't you specify an association list?</dd>
    <dd>We did</dd>

> <h2>Weekly Weather Forecast</h2>
> <al>
>  <li>
>   <at>Monday</at>
>   <ad><img />Sunshine</ad>
>  </li>
>  <li>
>   <at>Tuesday</at>
>   <ad><img />Sunshine</ad>
>  </li>
>  <li>
>   <at>Wednesday</at>
>   <ad><img />Sunshine</ad>
>  </li>
>  <li>
>   <at>Thursday</at>
>   <ad><img />Sunshine</ad>
>  </li>
>  <li>
>   <at>Friday</at>
>   <ad><img />Sunshine</ad>
>  </li>
> </al>

   <h2>Weekly Weather Forecast</h2>
    <dd><img src="sun.png" alt=""> Sunshine</dd>
    <dd><img src="sun.png" alt=""> Sunshine</dd>
    <dd><img src="sun.png" alt=""> Sunshine</dd>
    <dd><img src="sun.png" alt=""> Sunshine</dd>
    <dd><img src="sun.png" alt=""> Sunshine</dd>

Ian Hickson               U+1047E                )\._.,--....,'``.    fL       U+263A                /,   _.. \   _\  ;`._ ,.
Things that are impossible just take longer.   `._.-(,_..'--(,_..'`-.;.'
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Received on Thursday, 3 September 2009 10:32:49 UTC