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Re: what is dt?

From: Shelley Powers <shelleyp@burningbird.net>
Date: Thu, 17 Sep 2009 09:39:59 -0500
Message-ID: <4AB24A3F.7040905@burningbird.net>
To: Simon Pieters <simonp@opera.com>
CC: Maciej Stachowiak <mjs@apple.com>, Smylers@stripey.com, public-html@w3.org
Simon Pieters wrote:
> On Thu, 17 Sep 2009 15:02:42 +0200, Shelley Powers 
> <shelleyp@burningbird.net> wrote:
>>>> We keep referencing the importance of semantics, but most of the 
>>>> considerations about elements to use for Figure and Details have 
>>>> been based on some physical characteristic or behavior. Physical 
>>>> characteristics and behaviors, I should add, that came about 
>>>> because of earlier, non-compatible semantics.
>>> That's exactly right - the other plausible existing elements are 
>>> ruled out because of their pre-existing use and behavior. I don't 
>>> have a strong opinion on <dt> vs. a new element - as far as I'm 
>>> concerned, either is acceptable. All I wanted to do is clarify why 
>>> <caption>, <label>, or other similar elements, are not an option for 
>>> technical reasons that go beyond aesthetics.
>> Actually, label has been found to be acceptable for use with Figure.
> I don't think <label> is acceptable, because it interacts with form 
> controls and is generally allowed anywhere. What if you want a form 
> control in the figure caption? What if you want a <label> as the 
> figure content? It wouldn't work if <label> was used as the figure 
> caption.
> Also, <label> is rendered as an inline element in legacy browsers, but 
> a figure caption should be block level.
> <dt> does not have these problems.
Interestingly enough, there's an existing bug about dt/dl because of how 
they are physically implemented by legacy browsers[1].

I'm not sure about your concerns about label, though, especially your 
statement "generally allowed anywhere". I read your follow on, but it 
puzzles me: I'm definitely concerned about a form control in a figure 
caption. Seems to me, that could really quirk the concept of Figure and 
it's associated "caption".

It seems to me that we're getting further and further away from 
semantics in the defense of keeping dt in Figure. No offense, but 
further from what could be considered reasonable use, too. I'm focusing 
on web designers and developers, and the confusion that will arise 
because of different semantics, syntax, and criteria governing the use 
of dt/dd in all the different containers. Label would have much less 
baggage. Regardless, I think a new element would most likely be better, 
so I'm not digging in, in defense of Label, either.

But, I am puzzled by the continuing references to legacy browsers when 
we're talking about future HTML. Especially since "legacy" browsers 
won't work with HTML5 now, anyway. Not 100%, and not all aspects of 
HTML5. How can they? HTML5 isn't even real yet. It's still a draft, 
undergoing significant changes, daily.

I think we'd be better off being guided by what will be the cleanest 
solutions to problems, causing the least confusion to web designers and 
developers, as we move into the future with a new markup.


[1] http://www.w3.org/Bugs/Public/show_bug.cgi?id=7629


Received on Thursday, 17 September 2009 14:40:52 UTC

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