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Re: ISSUE-83 ACTION-152 Change Proposal for the use of dt/dd in figure and details

From: Leif Halvard Silli <xn--mlform-iua@xn--mlform-iua.no>
Date: Thu, 12 Nov 2009 01:28:30 +0100
Message-ID: <4AFB56AE.20108@xn--mlform-iua.no>
To: James Graham <jgraham@opera.com>
CC: Shelley Powers <shelley.just@gmail.com>, HTMLWG WG <public-html@w3.org>
James Graham On 09-11-11 11.15:

> Shelley Powers wrote:


> This change proposal seems to contain two competing proposals:
> a) Remove <figure> and <details> from HTML5
> b) Use something else in place of <dd> and <dt> in <figure> and <details>
> This is problematic because b) is a change I could live with whilst a) 
> is one that I could not live with. I could also live with:
> c) Maintain the status quo.
> For this reason it would be difficult to give a good answer to whether I 
> support, or even "can live with" the proposal. If it came down to it I 
> would have to say "no" since the proposal contains the possibility of a 
> change that I cannot live with.
> I don't think it makes sense to have a change proposal that talks about 
> changing the definition of dd/dt without taking a definite position on 
> what to do with elements that depend on the current definition. In 
> general I think an individual change proposal should represent one 
> complete and consistent change to the spec rather than requiring 
> multiple sequential change proposals to be applied to get the spec into 
> a consistent state. 

Option a) interests me the most. And you are right that there are 
many interlinked issues here. So many that it is difficult to file 
a "clean" proposal.

For instance whether <dt><dd> can be used inside <figure>/<detail> 
doesn't only affect <figure>/<detail> but also <dl>. Just like it 
affected <dl> whether we had <dialog> or not. (It still affects 
<dl> that the spec doesn't say that <dl> may be used for dialogs.)

I believe that Shelley would heartily support using <dt> as 
caption for the <dd>, provided that the <dt> and the <dd> are 
children of <dl>. ;-)

I don't know why you can't live with removing <figure><detail>. 
And are they equally important to you? As for myself: HTML5's 
draconian limitations on what <dl> may be used for is something 
that will have to change before /I/ can live with the spec!

<figure>/<detail> are on the surface a different issue from 
<dialog>: They were not (I think) thought up specifically in in 
order to "split out" something from the <dl> element. However, the 
current HTML 5 "status quo", makes <figure><detail> close to <dl> 
in structure and "look".

And if we look at HTML 4, then the link to <dl> lists becomes even 
clearer. For example, HTML 4 defines that we may use definition 
lists to present the features of a product in advertising [1]. If 
<dl> is suitable for advertising, then it is also suitable for 
presenting a photo - or several -  from a holiday trip (the 
infamous Flickr use case)!

May be the only proposed change that <dl> could benefit from is 
the name change: HTML5's "description list" instead of HTML4's 
"definition list"!

The <dialog> element was replaced with some authoring advice. 
That's as good thing (except that I think the advice should 
include the option of using <dl>). And likewise, 
<figure>/<details> element could be replaced by author advice 
about how to use <dl>.

leif halvard silli
Received on Thursday, 12 November 2009 00:29:05 UTC

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