W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-xhtml2@w3.org > November 2007

Re: The equivalence of <title> with the title property

From: Steven Pemberton <steven.pemberton@cwi.nl>
Date: Thu, 29 Nov 2007 15:41:43 +0100
To: "Shane McCarron" <shane@aptest.com>
Cc: "XHTML WG" <public-xhtml2@w3.org>
Message-ID: <op.t2j5rt1xsmjzpq@acer3010>

On Wed, 28 Nov 2007 17:27:41 +0100, Shane McCarron <shane@aptest.com>  
> Steven Pemberton wrote:
>> As I edited the minutes of the call, I noticed Shane's remark on IRC  
>> for the first time:
>> "ShaneM: Note that the RDFa spec does not say that something with a  
>> property of dc:title is the same as / overrides the title element."
>> That is absolutely true. But the XHTML2 spec says:
>> "The title of a document is metadata about the document, and so a title  
>> like <title>About W3C</title> is equivalent to <meta about=""  
>> property="title">About W3C</meta>."
>> So we say that the title element is semantically equivalent to the  
>> html:title property (and I hope we say the same about the title  
>> attribute somewhere, I need to check; no we don't, needs to be added).
> We do not, and have never, said that the title attribute is semantically  
> equivalent to the title element.

No no no! That's not what I meant. The title attribute is equivalent to  
the html:title property on the element that the attribute is on. So,


is equivalent to/shorthand for:

	<meta about="" property="title">Home</meta>

(about="" means "this document") and

	<abbr id="w3c" title="World Wide Web Consortium">W3C</abbr>

is equivalent to/shorthand for

	<meta about="#w3c" property="title" content="World Wide Web Consortium"/>

>> For this reason, I would also like to propose that we remove the  
>> requirement that there MUST be a title element in every <head>.
> I think I would object to that - it would mean that incremental  
> rendering would become impossible.  At the very least a user agent needs  
> to discover the title of a document quickly so it can put SOMETHING on  
> the window while it is processing and rendering.  If we do not require  
> the title element, then a document would need to be completely parsed  
> and processed before the primary title could be discovered.

Well, ever looked to see what happens when a browser displays a document  
which has no title?

Even with a title element, it can still be a lot of bytes before you get  
to it, and the browser doesn't wait until it finds the title before doing  

Anyway, I think that a title should be optional, just as there need be no  
h1 on a document.

Received on Thursday, 29 November 2007 14:41:52 UTC

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