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[whatwg] Inline list proposal [was: Interpretation issue: can <section> be used for "extended paragraphs"?]

From: Markus Ernst <derernst@gmx.ch>
Date: Fri, 11 Mar 2011 10:14:10 +0100
Message-ID: <4D79E7E2.6070402@gmx.ch>
Am 10.03.2011 19:18 schrieb Jukka K. Korpela:
> Markus Ernst wrote:
>
>> Would it cause serious issues to add the Phrasing Content category to
>> these three elements [ol, ul, dl] thus allowing them inside the p
>> element?
>
> I'm afraid it would, and I think that's the reason why the content model
> hasn't been extended in HTML5.
>
[...]
>
> Introducing a new paragraph concept, say <par> element, would not have
> this problem, but it would have problems of its own. And the good old
> <p> element might feel rather lonely and rejected - and oddly named.

I know it is late in the HTML5 process to propose new elements, but 
please consider this:

Instead of a new paragraph concept, there could also be a new concept 
for inline (resp. Phrasing Content) lists. The concept is actually not 
too new - for quotes, e.g., we've had both block level <blockquote> and 
an inline level <q> elements for long. Why not the same for lists? 
Consider this markup of Andy's use case:

<p>I always like to eat these cheeses:
<il>
  <ili>Cheddar</ili>,
  <ili>Stilton</ili>, and
  <ili>Red Lester</ili>,
</il>
but I enjoy them most with one of these biscuits:
<il>
  <ili>wheat crackers</ili>,
  <ili>rye crackers</ili>,
  <ili>digestives</ili>,
</il>
and some chutney.</p>

<il> stands for "inline list", <ili> for "inline list item" (it's a pity 
we can't reuse <li> for BC reasons). Conforming UAs would be required to 
ignore any content in an <il> element, except it is in an <ili> element. 
Like that, the above example would be perfectly readable in legacy UAs, 
but make sense in HTML5-capable UAs.

It would even be easy to stlye the output for legacy UAs supporting 
display:list-item, as this example illustrates:
http://www.markusernst.ch/stuff_for_the_world/list-test.html

I tested this example in FF 3.6, IE 8, Opera 11 and Chrome 9. The 
unstyled block degrades nicely in all 4 browsers, the styled one is 
rendered as expected except in IE 8, where it also degrades nicely.

I'd be happy to read any thoughts on this.
Received on Friday, 11 March 2011 01:14:10 UTC

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