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Re: Working Group Decision on ISSUE-90: Removing the figure Element

From: Leif Halvard Silli <xn--mlform-iua@xn--mlform-iua.no>
Date: Wed, 2 Jun 2010 02:42:48 +0200
To: Sam Ruby <rubys@intertwingly.net>
Cc: HTML WG <public-html@w3.org>
Message-ID: <20100602024248464276.588658fb@xn--mlform-iua.no>
Sam Ruby, Tue, 01 Jun 2010 18:02:26 -0400:
> Original issue:
>   http://www.w3.org/html/wg/tracker/issues/90
> Poll results (including links to change proposals):
>   http://www.w3.org/2002/09/wbs/40318/issue-90-objection-poll/results
> So, turning to the objections to the counter-proposal...
> Leif cites a number of potential issues: but he also indicates that 
> they may be solvable.  Writing a bug report that gets resolved to be 
> insolvable would be a strong objection.  Indicating that there is 
> more work to be done is not.
> Net: there is only one potentially strong argument relevant at this 
> time for removing the figure element, and that is the complexity 
> argument. However, we find the objections to removing the element to 
> be stronger -- at this point in time.  That could easily change down 
> the road.  In fact, unless there are implementations forthcoming, 
> that WILL change. Meanwhile, we encourage people to write specific 
> and actionable bug reports on areas where this element is deficient.

Firstly: I am also a little bit disappointed that the chairs did not 
agree with my problem descriptions to the extent that they said that it 
is crucial to fix these issues before we can say a final "yes" to 
either <figure> or <details>. However, if the end is good, then all is 
good. So I'll pretend it doesn't matter ...

My objections to <figure> are also very much related to complexity. 
Mainly to the complexity of having two different caption elements for 
<figure> and <details> instead of just one. And I am surprised that you 
did not treat <figure> and <details> in the same go, when you made your 

(1) As I indicated in my objections, I have filed a bug. Bug 9631: 
"Change name of <figcaption> to <summary>". There is already precedent 
for <summary> as a generalized caption element: Atom has a <summary> 
element for this purpose. This bug should be actionable. (And I would 
maintain it even if <details> was removed as an element.)

(2) Another issue that I took up, was whether <figure> can be inline. 
It currently can't. One possible solution to that problem is to fix 
another bug that I filed, bug 9657: "Content model of object". Because, 
if the content model of  <object> was changed back to that of HTML4, 
then it would be possible to have inline [that is "in-paragraph"] 
<figures>.  This bug should be actionable.

(3) Yet another solution to the inline figure problem, could be to 
define <figure> (and <details>) to have a content model as well as a 
"where it can occur" model that is a little bit like that of <object> 
in HTML4 (HTML four). Then we would be able to embed <table>s and lists 
inside <p> elements, simply by first embedding them in a <figure>. I 
have not filed any bug for this option (yet).
leif halvard silli
Received on Wednesday, 2 June 2010 00:43:23 UTC

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