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

Re: Getting beyond the ping pong match

From: Rene Saarsoo <nene@triin.net>
Date: Mon, 07 May 2007 00:00:08 +0300
To: public-html@w3.org
Message-ID: <op.trxbait5exn25i@localhost>

It seems to me, that the ping-pong match doesn't
show any signs of stopping... neither do bad subject lines :)

First of all - it's pretty pointless to argue over
one single proposed predefined class name. It's not the
copyright class and how it's used, it's the principle, whether
we should or should not have predefined class names at all.

Here are my objections agains predefined class names:

1. Many sites use those class names for something else

    Although "copyright" is quite often used in accordance
    with the proposed spec, others are quite often used for
    other purposes. Especially ambiguos are the "note" and
    "issue", which could also refere to musical note or bank
    note; or issue of a newspaper.

    I also recorded uses like the following:

    <span class="note">Note:</span> you can also add the...

    <input type="text" size="30" max="50" name="firstname">
    <span class="note">optional</span>

2. This is not a future-proof way to extend HTML

    Although at the moment we might find a set of classnames,
    for which we can be sure, that they are mostly used so, how
    we want them to be used, can we be sure, that when we
    need to add some more predefined class names in the future,
    then those won't introduce any problems?

    No, we can't.
    Every time we want to consider a new predefined class name,
    we have to go through the whole process again.

3. Making some class names special is confusing

    Suddenly all authors will need to remember, that there
    is this set of predefined class names, which differently
    from all the other meaningless class names have meaning.
    Currently there are only seven predefined class names,
    but in the future we might add a lot more.

    This complicates the class attribute and confuses developers.
    It's confusing when class names most of the time have no
    meaning what so ever, but someties do have a meaning.

4. Predefined class names are impossible to validate

    Clearly it would be helpful, if HTML validator would
    tell you, if you had misspelled the predefined classname,
    but because the normal class names are at the same
    namespace, every misspelled predefined class name becomes
    normal meaningless class name and can't be therefore
    detected by validator.

I'll be waiting for counter-arguments from predefined
class names supporters.

Rene Saarsoo
Received on Sunday, 6 May 2007 20:59:27 UTC

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