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Re: HTML5 feedback from prominent designers

From: Leif Halvard Silli <xn--mlform-iua@xn--mlform-iua.no>
Date: Fri, 04 Sep 2009 05:56:56 +0200
Message-ID: <4AA09008.9040209@xn--mlform-iua.no>
To: "Tab Atkins Jr." <jackalmage@gmail.com>
CC: Jonas Sicking <jonas@sicking.cc>, public-html@w3.org
Tab Atkins Jr. On 09-09-04 02.57:

> On Thu, Sep 3, 2009 at 7:33 PM, Jonas Sicking<jonas@sicking.cc> wrote:
>> On Thu, Sep 3, 2009 at 9:01 AM, Tab Atkins Jr.<jackalmage@gmail.com> wrote:
>>> On Wed, Sep 2, 2009 at 6:49 PM, Jonas Sicking<jonas@sicking.cc> wrote:
>>>> On Wed, Sep 2, 2009 at 8:13 PM, Tab Atkins Jr.<jackalmage@gmail.com> wrote:
>>>>> In this case we're okay, since it's only by reading the spec that I
>>>>> came to the wrong conclusion.  ^_^  I, and many other people,
>>>>> immediately assume that <aside> *is* appropriate for sidebars when we
>>>>> see its name.  I just want to make sure that reading the spec doesn't
>>>>> disabuse anyone of that correct notion, like it obviously has.
>>>> But that still means that people miss the fact that you can use
>>>> <aside> to mark up footnotes and other types of in-flow asides.
>>> Do we have any evidence that people are missing this fact, though?
>> Didn't several people (you included) say that the reaction many people
>> had to the <aside> element was that it was for the page sidebar, like
>> <header> was for the page header and <footer> the page footer?
> Indeed, when talking about overall page structure.  I don't know if
> it's safe to assume that we authors think it's *only* good for
> sidebars.

An aside is also a "dramatic device"[1]. So fits well with 
<dialog> ... ;-)

I can live with <aside>. And the good thing with it its broad and 
neutral meaning. It may also be good that users have to read the 
spec in order to get a grasp on it ...

But 'aside' still seems a tad 'high English' and "chiefly 
British", if you ask me. There is risk that it will often be 
misunderstood or not be understood at all - in this Web Wide 
World. And for those that understand it, if it is perceived as an 
exclusive/classy word, then that might also impact on how often 
authors use it as well. And I don't think the association to 
"sidebar" is any helpful - it is only a derived effect that it may 
be fitting in a sidebar, I gather.

Two alternative proposals:

<btw>. Would be understood faster and feel more familiar. Is 
shorter. Well known in Internet English ...

<apropos>. Means "related" and "side note" as well as "look at 
this". (Thus should work for pull quotes.) It is also an 
"international" word.

<btw>Device', btw, originates from 'div(ision)' ...</btw>
<apropos>The dialog element is fine for monologs!</apropos>

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aside
leif halvard silli
Received on Friday, 4 September 2009 03:57:39 UTC

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