W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-html@w3.org > December 2009

Re: Bug 8404 -- taking it to the lists

From: Jeroen van der Gun <noreplytopreventspam@blijbol.nl>
Date: Tue, 1 Dec 2009 20:59:11 +0100
Message-ID: <9945efe50912011159x13b3d202q9a62df5092b02cfa@mail.gmail.com>
To: public-html@w3.org
The real question that needs to be asked is: are tables and images
fundamentally different? The answer is no. They are both objects in a
document. They are both usually numbered. They are both referenced
from within the document text. They can both be moved around if they
are referenced properly. In other words, they are both suitable to be
the content of a figure element. This also applies to other objects,
such as large equations, blocks of computer code and the other objects
mentioned earlier in this discussion. That they are usually styled the
same, as indicated earlier, confirms this.

I am not talking about inline images here (such as emoticons) and
tables/equations/etc. that have one exact position in the document
text. Because of this they are naturally described by the text and a
caption should not be permitted. They simply cannot be seen as
individual units.

The aside element has also be mentioned. The aside element cannot
fulfil the role of the figure element, since it is a too strong
separation from the main content. Aside elements pretty much do not
convey any information related to the document that is not mentioned
elsewhere inside the document. Figure elements on the other hand have
a strong connection to the document and convey additional information;
that they are not tied to one specific point in the document, does not
mean that they can be removed from the document without loss of

Then there is only one issue left. Tables already have their own way
of attaching a caption. I therefore suggest dropping the caption
element in favour of the figure element. Tables that need a caption
can be embedded in a figure element, just like images, large
equations, blocks of computer code and the rest. This way there is one
universal mechanism that works the same for all of these.

Jeroen van der Gun
Received on Tuesday, 1 December 2009 20:01:08 UTC

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