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Re: [RDFa] The CLASS attribute

From: Steven Pemberton <steven.pemberton@cwi.nl>
Date: Thu, 15 Feb 2007 11:08:43 +0100
To: "Ben Adida" <ben@adida.net>, "Simone Onofri" <simone.onofri@gmail.com>
Cc: "Ivan Herman" <ivan@w3.org>, "Hausenblas, Michael" <michael.hausenblas@joanneum.at>, RDFa <public-rdf-in-xhtml-tf@w3.org>, "SWD WG" <public-swd-wg@w3.org>, www-qa@w3.org
Message-ID: <op.tnsbstvzsmjzpq@acer3010.lan>

Now wait a cotton pickin' moment!

When we discussed class vs role I said that although using class was a  
technically sufficient solution, I thought it unwise because class is used  
for different things, and people would complain; better to leave class for  
the mess it is and start with a clean sheet. Now someone has complained  
(Tim Berners-Lee no less), and *you* are reraising the issue, not me.

So we could elect to tweak the solution we have now (although one of the  
reasons for using class (microformats uses it) now disappears because  
microformats uses class with unprefixed values) or we could reevaluate the  
solution to see if it was such a good idea in the first place.

Either way we should be aware of the choices open to us. Sometimes when  
you take a wrong turning, it is easier to retrace your steps than hack  
through the bush to get where you wanted to go. Before you start hacking  
you should at least consider which you think will be quicker in the long  


On Wed, 14 Feb 2007 17:36:18 +0100, Ben Adida <ben@adida.net> wrote:
> I don't want to shut down discussion, but as Chair I have to make an
> important point: the CLASS vs. ROLE decision is one that we already made
> as a group, with many discussions and many telecons. If we want to make
> progress, we need to have some deference for decisions already made
> unless there is a very good reason to overturn them. So far, I'm not
> seeing a good reason to overturn a decision, only a reason to bound it
> (triple bloat).
> Right now, the discussion is headed in the direction of "let's put
> everything back on the table." We have to be extremely wary of this
> approach. It means we have to put a hold on the Primer yet again. It
> means any question raised sends us back to the drawing board when a
> small fix might do the trick.
> After we agreed on CLASS, I spent hours correcting this issue with other
> groups (who saw my use of ROLE in an earlier Primer draft). Changing it
> back would be a huge cost again. We must realize that such a change
> would bear a huge cost, and for what benefit?
> To address specific points:
>> So, Using class with semantic meaning, this overload the current use
>> of @class.
> It's actually not overloading: Mark has explained very well how CLASS
> was meant for semantics [1], and then CSS used that as a hook for style.
> CLASS is not about style, though it can be used for style.
>> So, if we use on a single page also more dialects we can have:
>> ... class="mystile first-dialect second-dialect" ...
>> and this is not clear also for humans and create more confusion also
>> for machines.
> If we go with namespaced classes, it actually looks quite clear to me.
> Seems like a matter of taste on this front.
>> It's a good idea use only "namespaced" class but if we can use a
>> specific @attribute for semantic layes, this should be the best
>> choice.
> New attributes should be used sparingly. HTML already has attributes and
> elements that provide semantics: LINK, META, REL, REV, and CLASS.
> Inventing some new attributes is causing us great pain with folks who
> don't like HTML extensibility. At the very least, we should be minimal
> in our approach and consider each new attribute carefully.
> -Ben
> [1]
> http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-rdf-in-xhtml-tf/2006Dec/0018
Received on Thursday, 15 February 2007 10:08:54 UTC

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