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Re: Legacy elements (was : Complex Table Examples)

From: Patrick H. Lauke <redux@splintered.co.uk>
Date: Sun, 13 May 2007 13:49:23 +0100
Message-ID: <46470953.406@splintered.co.uk>
To: www-html@w3.org

David Woolley wrote:

>> But that is a very restricted universe of discourse.  Surely
> I have a 9 inch pile of such documents, and I'd suggest that they are 
> one of the most common sorts of document that people encounter.

Ah, I'm having deja-vu, as I seem to remember that we discussed this 
almost a year ago in the same manner. Well, then, here we go...

So, from the wide range of literary production (think library of 
congress etc), tech manuals and documentation form an fairly small part,

> In any case, if they are not in HTML, supersets of them are needed in 
> HTML, and preferably not such generic supersets as span.


> Ah! You mean span/div/a/img/script/embed.  That's what the average 
> author wants!   In rejecting these semantic markup elements, I think you 
> are actually supporting the presentationalist case.

I'd say that what he's doing is pointing out the fallacy of the 
reasoning behind certain WG members fighting tooth and nail to defend 
the fact that the spec doesn't need more specific semantics to 
differentiate between different uses of certain generalised elements, 
putting an extensive burden of proof on anybody who'd suggest otherwise, 
while at the same time not minding at all that such elements which have 
a very tight area of applicability are merrily kept on. In the same way 
that some of them have been arguing against things like refinements of 
<i>, I'd like to ask: are authors today actually using code,samp,val,kbd 
properly, and are there any advantages to end users when markup is 
marked up in such a way? Are there any tools that work *today* that make 
anything meaningful out of these elements?

To be clear, I don't object to these elements as such...what I do find 
strange is how different methods seem to be applied in the 
decision-making process of what stays and what goes.

> The other specific reason for retaining human computer interface 
> concepts is that they are needed to document HTML itself.  Without them 
> you cannot properly write the HTML specification in HTML!

This kind of "self-compiling" idea doesn't seem strong enough to me...

Patrick H. Lauke
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Received on Sunday, 13 May 2007 12:49:29 UTC

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