Re: Structure vs Semantics

> [Original Message]
> From: Jukka K. Korpela <>
> On Tue, 9 Dec 2003, Ernest Cline wrote:
> > Another reason that the Inline/Block distinction should remain
> > part of the set of (X)HTML elements is that without it how
> > is a user agent supposed to tell in the absence of styling information
> > that an element that could be used for either block or inline is
> > supposed to be one or the other when the content of the element
> > could fit either model.
> Sorry, I don't understand the question. Surely paragraphs would remain
> paragraphs, lists would remain lists, etc. A browser would have a bit more
> interesting job to do when it encounters, say,
> <p>some text <ul> some list </ul> some text</p>
> but surely this can be handled. It could render the list in the normal
> list style, just without top and bottom margins. Or it could present it
> inline, inside the paragraph, with e.g. bullets preceding the items.
> Even displaying it as current tag soup processors do would be
> acceptable,though of poor quality.

In the root post of this thread, Lachlan proposed consolidating
<quote> and <blockquote> and other such pairs of semantic
elements into single elements which could be used in either
the Block or the Inline context. This is what I was referring to.

In <div><quote><p/></quote></div>, the quote element
here is clearly intended to be block.  Given the current
state of CSS, this would force CSS to use a default value
of the display property of <quote> to be block, as it is unable
to adjust the properties of an element based on its children.
Even if were able to, then in the case of <div><quote/></div>
It would be unable to tell whether that quote element
is supposed to be block or inline, and at least in the case
of a quote, a block quote has a degree of emphasis
over an inline quote.

I feel that the distinction between block and inline is
fundamental enough that to force styling to be provided
to make the distinction is not a good idea.

Received on Wednesday, 10 December 2003 11:20:37 UTC