W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-html@w3.org > May 2007

Re: Getting beyond the ping pong match (was RE: Cleaning House)

From: Jonas Sicking <jonas@sicking.cc>
Date: Fri, 04 May 2007 23:55:44 -0700
Message-ID: <463C2A70.6050206@sicking.cc>
To: Dão Gottwald <dao@design-noir.de>, "public-html@w3.org" <public-html@w3.org>

Dão Gottwald wrote:
> Jonas Sicking schrieb:
>> Dão Gottwald wrote:
>>> Jonas Sicking schrieb:
>>>> Maciej Stachowiak wrote:
>>>>> On May 4, 2007, at 9:30 AM, John Foliot - WATS.ca wrote:
>>>>>> One of the most exciting (to me) developments in the XHTML camp is 
>>>>>> the
>>>>>> emergence of the ROLE attribute - as it now provides a means of 
>>>>>> "explaining"
>>>>>> what something is or does... To quote the W3C spec:
>>>>>> "The role attribute takes as its value one or more white-space 
>>>>>> separated
>>>>>> QNames. The attribute describes the role(s) the current element 
>>>>>> plays in the
>>>>>> context of the document. <snip> It could also be used as a 
>>>>>> mechanism for
>>>>>> annotating portions of a document in a domain specific way (e.g., 
>>>>>> a legal
>>>>>> term taxonomy)."
>>>>>> http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml-role/#s_role_module_attributes
>>>>> The purpose of the "role" attribute is addressed in HTML5 by the 
>>>>> "class" attribute, along with predefined classes.
>>>> Personally I think this was a very poor decision. The problem is 
>>>> that you have user names and standard names mixed in the same 
>>>> namespace. So there's a big risk that the user accidentally ends up 
>>>> marking semantic meaning to their elements simply by wanting to 
>>>> style them.
>>> Umm. You consider enriching the semantics of markup "by accident" a 
>>> bug, not a feature? Even if the author added class="copyright" for 
>>> styling purposes, what's the problem with telling the user agent and 
>>> thereby the user that there's copyright information?
>> It's fine if it happens to be the right semantic, sure. But it's very 
>> likely that they'll add that to elements that has an entierly 
>> different meaning, thereby adding the wrong semantic to it.
> You're sure that it would be "very likely"? My assumption is that the 
> hits would outnumber the false positives by far. "role", on the other 
> hand, would probably only be used by authors that care about semantics 
> and accessibility.

No, of course I'm not sure. But it does seem likely that it'll be wrong 
often enough. I guess it's possible to do a survey today on a number of 
sites and see what classnames they are using and how they are used. 
Would definitely be interesting.

/ Jonas
Received on Saturday, 5 May 2007 06:58:17 UTC

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