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Re: ISSUE-200: legend-placement - Chairs Solicit Alternate Proposals or Counter-Proposals

From: Marat Tanalin | tanalin.com <mtanalin@yandex.ru>
Date: Sat, 31 Mar 2012 18:19:47 +0400
To: Edward O'Connor <eoconnor@apple.com>
Cc: "public-html@w3.org" <public-html@w3.org>
Message-Id: <195821333203587@web102.yandex.ru>
Below are my comment on the counter-proposal by Edward O'Connor:

> The <fieldset> and <legend> author conformance criteria present 
> in the specification help authors to correctly use these elements 
> and should not be loosened.

"Helping" and "correctness" are unconstructive abstractions.

> No use cases have been provided to justify changing the status quo.

Not. Multiple usecases _have been_ provided in both original bug 12834 [1] and proposal [2]. See:

> the legacy rendering behavior of <fieldset> and <legend>
> cannot be fully described in CSS. It can be difficult 
> for Web authors to override this with CSS. This is unfortunate,
> but unavoidable while maintaining compatibility with Web content.

No. This _is_ avoidable by wrapping legend in DIV, and it works in all existing browsers.

> If we were to change this in order to allow other styling 
> of <legend> as suggested, we would likely break sites 
> which depend on the current behavior.

No. Old sites are completely _unaffected_ since:

    * old sites do not use wrapping LEGEND in DIV,
    * browsers do not need to be changed at all, so rendering of old sites will remain the same as current.

> Change proposal for LEGEND element suggests we mint a new
> <ilegend> element, identical in semantics to <legend> 
> but free from <legend>'s compatibility constraints. 
> Having multiple elements with identical semantics 
> balloons the size of HTML's vocabulary and should be 
> avoided unless there are compelling reasons for each element.

Such "ballooning" is not a significant issue at all. There _are_ compelling reason: existing LEGEND element is not styleable as it's needed by real-world web development.

> For instance, when designing <figure>, we minted <figcaption> (instead of reusing <summary> or <legend> within <figure>) due to the legacy parsing behavior of <summary> and the legacy rendering behavior of <legend>. But this was to enable the various use cases addressed by <figure>.

"various use cases" is an unconstructive abstraction.

> The use cases for <fieldset> are already addressed by it, and it already has an element for naming the set of form controls contained within it. 

No. Usecases are not addressed by existing FIELDSET/LEGEND: existing LEGEND element is not styleable as it's needed by real-world web development.

> It might be possible to design a new CSS concept 
> with which we could completely describe the rendering 
> of <fieldset> and <legend>. I encourage those interested 
> to make such a proposal to the CSS Working Group.

This is not an equivalent option for and has nothing to do with utilizing what already works right now in all browsers. You are free to design new CSS concepts (and it would be even nice), but is not a reason to formally disallow what already works _right now_ in _all browsers_.


[1] https://www.w3.org/Bugs/Public/show_bug.cgi?id=12834
[2] http://www.w3.org/wiki/User:Mtanalin/legend-placement

28.03.2012, 03:12, "Edward O'Connor" <eoconnor@apple.com>:
> I wrote:
>> šI volunteer to write an alternate Change Proposals for ISSUE-200. I'll
>> šdeliver it by the March 28th deadline.
> Here it is:
> http://www.w3.org/html/wg/wiki/User:Eoconnor/ISSUE-200
> Thanks,
> Ted
Received on Saturday, 31 March 2012 14:20:19 UTC

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