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Re: Cleaning House

From: Benjamin Hawkes-Lewis <bhawkeslewis@googlemail.com>
Date: Sat, 05 May 2007 18:27:19 +0100
Message-ID: <463CBE77.1030108@googlemail.com>
To: David Woolley <forums@david-woolley.me.uk>
CC: www-html@w3.org, nene@triin.net

David Woolley wrote:
> Benjamin Hawkes-Lewis wrote:
>> 2. Technical term.
> I think that DFN was intended to cover this, as it common only to
> mark the first use.

I'm not sure how common or uncommon that is. But for a UA to able to 
attach special behaviour to <term>, it would be easiest for it to be 
used for every occurrence. It may be that marking up terms is completely 
unnecessary; you could just give UAs a glossary attached via a <link> 
element and they could highlight or whatever terms as they saw fit.

The glossary link type would come in handy here:


The one problem with this would be if you used words in /both/ a 
technical sense and a non-technical sense, as might well be the case 
with words like "should". Maybe <term> should be reserved for such 
problematic cases?

I've been thinking of a similar solution at a tangent to the traditional 
"Do we need acronym?" debate. A recent thread suggested a read attribute 
for all elements to answer the need to specify speech. It seems to me 
this would only be necessary if pronunciation differed from that 
specified in a pronunciation lexicon attached to a document via a <link> 
element. We now have a draft spec for such lexicons:


But no way drafted (as yet) to attach it to an HTML document, say like so:

<link rel="pronunciation" href="mypronunciations.pls.xml" 

Conversely, over on public-html, Rene Saarsoo suggests using <term> for 
taxonomy and foreign phrases as well as technical terms, apparently to 
protect <em> and <strong> from abuse:


But I think this simply robs <term> of its potential usefulness in 
attaching particular usages to particular definitions. <span> would be 
better in such cases IMHO; and compare:


>> 5. Ship names
> Given that HTML is intended to be a compromise between strict semantics 
> and ease of use, I think that one can collapse the ship name and genus 
> case into some sort of "proper" name case.

A quick glance at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proper_name suggests that 
trying to distinguish between "name" and "proper name" would probably 
not be very productive. Quote: "The problem of defining proper names, 
and of explaining their meaning, is one of the most recalcitrant in 
modern philosophy."

Plus <name> is shorter than <propername>. I agree you could use <name> 
for species names, but you'd still want the lang attribute.

> You missed <address> which is really about author affiliation as well as 
> address (and has caused confusion because people don't understand the 
> research paper context in which it wss invented.

Sorry, David, you've lost me here :( ... how would <address> have helped 
with any of these use cases?

Benjamin Hawkes-Lewis
Received on Saturday, 5 May 2007 17:30:18 UTC

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