Re: Question from XHTML-L: Content in CSS?

I think this is what we mean by "use a data model to capture the information,
seperate the information from its presentation (although that is more
complex than I think we normally say it is), provide a defualt (set of)

(There is another question of whether the information in an ordered list is
in fact paticlar numbers, or just the order of things, but I will leave that
for another topic/thread/day)


Charles McCN

On Sun, 24 Dec 2000, Kynn Bartlett wrote:

  This question came up on the XHTML-L mailing list; I've quoted my
  reply below which contains some context and the body of my concern.

  Namely, that by eliminating the start/value attributes for ordered
  lists and choosing to rely upon CSS 2, the XHTML working group has
  made the mistake of embedding actual -content- (the "correct"
  number values for an item are content or meta-content) in CSS, which
  is a no-no.

  Is this something for the WCAG group (to add to our guidelines "don't
  do this even though by spec you can"), for P&F (as it represents an
  error in XHTML/HTML Strict), or even for the XHTML working group
  itself?  I'm not sure if I'm writing to the right place or not.


  PS:  I think that this example is related to why I didn't like the
        previous proposal floated on this list for resolving abuse
        of "class."  By suggesting that semantics be embedded in
        CSS via a property for that purpose, and presenting that to
        the user via exposing "class" information, you're ignoring the
        WCAG checkpoint which requires pages to be usable without
        CSS.  What's needed is better use of the markup, not a hack
        in CSS nor elimination of class.

  >Date: Sun, 24 Dec 2000 13:03:35 -0800
  >From: Kynn Bartlett <>
  >Subject: RE: [XHTML-L] Question on start/value attributes for <ol>, <li> elements
  >At 12:57 PM 12/24/2000 , wrote:
  >>I've dug around the Web looking for how to actually do this, but have not
  >>found any documentation stating how an author of an XHTML 1.0 Strict document
  >>has full control *in markup* over ordered list numbering using the CSS2
  >>counter-increment and counter-reset constructs.  Maybe it's trivially easy,
  >>but the examples in
  >>are inadequate.
  >To the best of my knowledge there's no way to do this in markup,
  >only in CSS.  Which is somewhat worrisome, as the W3C's Web
  >Content Accessibility Guidelines [1] specify that pages should be
  >usable without CSS; this could prove problematic if numbering is
  >reserved for CSS.
  >Thus, the removal of start/value attributes, which are actually
  >encoded content (not presentation), is problematic.

Charles McCathieNevile    phone: +61 (0) 409 134 136
W3C Web Accessibility Initiative            
Location: I-cubed, 110 Victoria Street, Carlton VIC 3053, Australia
until 6 January 2001 at:
W3C INRIA, 2004 Route des Lucioles, BP 93, 06902 Sophia Antipolis Cedex, France

Received on Thursday, 28 December 2000 07:11:39 UTC