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[whatwg] <figure><img><* caption>

From: Jonas Sicking <jonas@sicking.cc>
Date: Mon, 30 Nov 2009 10:59:08 -0800
Message-ID: <63df84f0911301059m231d4a5aw2cd54bd749b3afa8@mail.gmail.com>
On Mon, Nov 30, 2009 at 10:41 AM, Philip J?genstedt <philipj at opera.com> wrote:
> As currently speced, the proper usage of <figure> is:
>
> <figure>
> ?<dd><img src="bunny.jpg" alt="A Bunny"></dd>
> ?<dt>The Cutest Animal</dt>
> </figure>
>
> Apart from all that has been said about legacy parsing, leaking style in IE,
> etc I would (perhaps not be the first to) add:
>
> 1. It seems quite easy to confuse or mistype dd/dt. Without guessing how
> often authors will get it wrong, I think everyone agrees that (all else
> equal) a syntax which is harder to confuse/mistype is better.
>
> 2. Only the caption needs to be marked up, the content is implicitly
> everything else. While some content may need a wrapping element for styling,
> e.g. <img> usually does not.
>
> 3. Aesthetics. (My eyes are bleeding, but I can't speak for anyone else's.)
>
> The main difficulty with coming up with something better seems to have been
> finding a name for an element which isn't already taken. If that's the only
> issue, why not just take some inspiration from <time pubdate> and use an
> attribute instead?
>
> <figure>
> ?<img src="bunny.jpg" alt="A Bunny">
> ?<p caption>The Cutest Animal</p>
> </figure>
>
> At least to me, it looks clean enough and there are no serious parsing
> issues (just use document.createElement("figure") for IE).
>
> The caption is easy to style with "figure *[caption]" or any number of easy
> workarounds for browsers that don't support CSS attribute selectors (IE6?).
>
> I haven't been following the discussions on <figure> closely, so if this has
> already been discussed and rejected please link me in the right direction.

I strongly agree with this. The strongest argument for me is that this
much more closely matches how someone would use <figure> if you don't
read the specification. The fact that you need to use <dd>/<dt> seems
very unintuitive and I would expect people to forget to use them a
lot. Especially since there would likely be no stylistic "penalty" for
forgetting the <dd>/<dt>.

<dd><dt> are used relatively rarely on the web today, even in
situations where HTML4 says to use them. I think this speaks to their
author unfriendlyness.

/ Jonas
Received on Monday, 30 November 2009 10:59:08 UTC

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