Re: Property list elements?

On Tue, 13 Apr 2004, Edwin van Vliet wrote:

> Might an extra type of list be useful? One that exists of properties and
> values. It would have to be some kind of mix between a table and a
> definition list.

It looks like a table to me. It's really a table with two columns, isn't

> <pl>
>    <pn>color</pn><pv>#000000</pv>
>    <pn>background-color</pn><pv>#FFFFFF</pv>
>    <pn>font-family</pn><pv>arial, helvetica, sans-serif</pv>
> </pl>

That would be
  <tr><td scope="row">color</td><td>#000000</td></tr>
wouldn't it? And in a table, you could use various additional markup,
like <thead> with column headers in it, or <caption>, or
summary="...", etc.

> It is something else
> than a definition list, in my opinion.

Certainly. You would not define the term "color" but specify a value for
"color", and the reader must be assumed to already know what the term
"color" means. That is, you implicitly postulate the existence of a
definition, instead of giving one. Beware that what HTML specifications
say about <dl> is just great confusion - they first define it as a
definition list, and this is what he can reasonably regard as the
normative definition of the semantics, and then they go on and discuss and
show all kinds of stuff where <dl> is only used to get a particular visual
appearance (which browsers are expected to use, without really saying it,
and which is very poorly implemented in browsers, really).

> I think such property
> list elements may also be used in forms. Actually, this is the reason I
> came to think about these new elements, since dl and table elements are
> not really suitable elements, I think.

<dl>, surely not. <table>, why not - this is an old debate, and there's
really no reason not to use <table> for tabular data like
(label, field) pairs. But you can also use just <div> and specify the

> I think the list should be rendered like some sort of table by default.
> The pn behaving much like a th and/or dt element, the pv behaving like a
> td and/or dd element.

So what would be the point of defining a special element to be used for
two-column tables?

Jukka "Yucca" Korpela,

Received on Wednesday, 14 April 2004 03:10:54 UTC