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Re: Proposal for <figure> graceful degradation

From: Leif Halvard Silli <lhs@malform.no>
Date: Sat, 22 Sep 2007 04:56:36 +0200
Message-ID: <<1383dc8218a52dc884e35e1a4ac64e11@10013.local>>
To: Maciej Stachowiak <mjs@apple.com>
Cc: public-html@w3.org

On 2007-09-16 10:28:03 +0200 Maciej Stachowiak <mjs@apple.com> wrote:

> 1) I propose using <label> for the element that holds the caption of  an 
> image instead of <legend>. I believe this would allow for easier  graceful 
> degradation. They seem to be about equally semantically close  to the word 
> "caption".

Why not just go for ultimate compatibility - SPAN? Or perhaps all the element to be either DFN, SPAN, ABBR, CODE, VAR, SAMP or I? Remember that FIGURE is just a specialized paragraph element. Thus, what constitutes a FIGURE should be the FIGURE element itself - we need not, in addition, look for a «special» element for the caption text.

Both LABEL, LEGEND, CAPTION  have very specialised uses in today's Web. And the semantics that comes to mind through e.g. the word LABEL, are a bit limiting. (Remember that according to the draft, LEGEND, when inside a FIGURE, can take structured iniline-level content - such as TABLE - i.e. it can be a bit more than just a typical label/caption.). 

Going for SPAN could also create focus on the [ automatic cross-reference feature ] which the HTML 5 draft proposes. Making use of that feature in relation with the FIGURE element, seems very relevant - it could help creating automatic links between figures/images and textual definitions/descripition of the figure. As such, it should work very nicely in tandem with the ALT attribute: When the IMG of a FIGURE element has an empty ALT attribute - because the ebedded content is described/treated textually nearby, then I imagine that the cross-reference could serve as a direct link to the descriptive text.

[ automatic cross-reference feature ]: <http://www.w3.org/html/wg/html5/#the-dfn>
leif halvard silli
Received on Saturday, 22 September 2007 02:56:48 UTC

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