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

Re: HTML is a declarative mark-up language

From: Robert J Burns <rob@robburns.com>
Date: Fri, 30 Jan 2009 17:06:32 -0600
Cc: Boris Zbarsky <bzbarsky@MIT.EDU>, HTML WG <public-html@w3.org>
Message-Id: <2394439B-11DC-492B-AD0B-D258BD5DFDBD@robburns.com>
To: Patrick H Lauke <splintered@gmail.com>
HI Patrick,

On Jan 30, 2009, at 4:51 PM, Patrick H Lauke wrote:

> On 30 Jan 2009, at 22:25, Robert J Burns <rob@robburns.com> wrote:
>> Hi Boris,
>> On Jan 30, 2009, at 3:32 PM, Boris Zbarsky wrote:
>>> Robert J Burns wrote:
>>>> You're honing in on what I was talking about now. There are  
>>>> reasons to have an element that says this is here solely as a  
>>>> anchor destination. A 'span' with an 'id' attribute might be  
>>>> there for some particular CSS hook. However, a phrase wrapped in  
>>>> an "a" with only an 'id' and no 'href' is clearly an anchor  
>>>> destination.
>>> I guess I'm at a bit of a loss to think of a situation where  
>>> something is solely an anchor destination without having any other  
>>> semantics. Anything I can think of linking to directly as part of  
>>> a document (sections, images, lists, tables, <pre> blocks with  
>>> program code, quotations, etc) all have appropriate semantic tags  
>>> that one would need around the thing being linked to anyway...  At  
>>> that point, it might be more clear to put an ID on said semantic  
>>> tag and use that as the anchor destination.
>>> Maybe there are situations I'm just failing to think of here?
>> The situation I'm mainly thinking about is the one I've raised  
>> before. An author has a phrase that the author wants to serve as an  
>> anchor destination. There is no other reason the author would  
>> markup the phrase except because it needs to serve as an anchor  
>> destination. The approaches I compared before was either:
>> <p>A paragraph with  <a id='anid' >a very important phrase</a>  
>> cited elsewhere in other documents.</p>
>> <p>A paragraph with  <span id='anid' >a very important phrase</ 
>> span> cited elsewhere in other documents.</p>
>> In the first case the use of the anchor element clearly conveys  
>> that the contents are needed as an anchor destination. In the  
>> second case an author (for example a subsequent author) would need  
>> to have access to the entire public and private computer network to  
>> determine that this is not needed anymore. The second example might  
>> be used to style the contents or otherwise make the element content  
>> available in some non-link/non-anchor way. The first case more  
>> clearly conveys that this fragment is participating in a link  
>> (again something particularly hard to determine otherwise due to  
>> the usual approach where all of the information about a link goes  
>> in the source anchor/link).

> just picking up on the example of the important phrase, would it  
> then not be appropriate to mark the importance with a <strong>  
> element, which then gets an @id ?

Well I don't want to send this off in a tangent to other HTML5  
problems,  so I'll just say this is up to the author. There are many  
definitions of important and they don't all mean the "important"  
intended by the redefinition of the 'strong' element. In this case I  
simply meant important enough to want to link to the phrase from one  
or many other documents. So my example is for cases where no other  
element is suitable to markup the phrase. In fact for cases where the  
phrase would not even be marked up other than the need for it to serve  
as the destination anchor of a link relation.

Take care,
Received on Friday, 30 January 2009 23:07:13 UTC

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