Re: Pandering to poor authorship (was Proposing <indent> vs. <blockquote>)

At 02:31 -0400 UTC, on 2007-04-14, Mike Schinkel wrote:

> Dylan Smith wrote:


> FYI, those are apples and oranges.  <indent> as proposed would have a
> default margin/padding/border/whatever whereas <div class="indent"> has
> no such default.
> Why that matters is that those who have access to only the content but
> not the CSS file (I'm assuming inline CSS is too complex and requires
> too much repetition) can gain a presentational indent with <indent> but
> not with <div class="indent">.
> People are, more and more, able to author snippets of HTML to be
> incorporated into an existing HTML structure, and not just entire HTML
> documents.  We need to recognize that emergent use-case and their
> applicable needs.

I see your point, but I disagree with the proposed solution and pose that
there may not even be a problem ;)

It is *both* true that people in that situation can in fact achieve that
presentation through <div style="padding-left:2em">[*], and that <indent>
with a specced default presentation gives them no guarantee that there won't
be some bit of CSS, out of their control, that says "indent {margin-left: 0}".

The situation in which people can only insert snippets and not affect their
presentation can exist for very good reasons: to ensure that they don't
create a mess. And the other way around: when an environment is too limiting,
the author (hopefully) has the freedom to use another environment instead.

I don't see why or how the HTML spec would need to deal with these realities.

[*] In fact, even <div style="padding-left:2em"> might simply be stripped
down to <p> by the authoring environment. When you're not in control you're
not in control.

Sander Tekelenburg
The Web Repair Initiative: <>

Received on Sunday, 15 April 2007 04:44:00 UTC