W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-html@w3.org > September 2007

Re: XHTML: Combining list elements altogether

From: Michael Jansson <mjan@em2-solutions.com>
Date: Wed, 19 Sep 2007 09:42:46 +0200
Message-ID: <000b01c7fa90$abc7c860$0300a8c0@em2sol.com>
To: "3w-html" <www-html@w3.org>

Hi all,

I hate to see UA and web authors unwillingness to adopt new standards as 
motivation for not advancing a standard.

Having said that, I would still agree with Paul's conclusion below. My view 
of the XML-ness of XHTML is that it gives a hierarchal description of 
content, and doesn't necessarily describe how content should be rendered 
(structure vs presentation). There is a semantically difference between 
ordered lists, unordered lists, definition lists and navigation lists 
(different meaning and purpose). The standard would thus be less expressive 
if the lists were unified. Then again, I could live with either approach 
since I'm more concerned with presentation than structure, and the 
semantically difference between lists may not be that important or clear in 

As a side note; Presentation and behaviour wise, we are already able to 
produce these lists with CSS2. All you need are DIV elements and CSS2. 
Still, I like to see the standard realized as it is proposed for the reason 
I mention above.

Em2 Solutions AB
Michael Jansson
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Paul Nelson (ATC)" <paulnel@winse.microsoft.com>
To: "Yahia Chlyeh" <cyahia@gmail.com>; "3w-html" <www-html@w3.org>
Sent: Tuesday, September 18, 2007 11:57 PM
Subject: RE: XHTML: Combining list elements altogether

> Yahia,
> Interesting suggestion. I can understand your desire to group like things 
> into one element type.
> Personally I don't see a compelling reason to group things like this.
> 1. It breaks all UAs that are not aware of the new syntax.
> 2. It produces more typing for the author. I'm not sure that the author 
> would have a perceived benefit of this type of change.
> Paul
> -----Original Message-----
> From: www-html-request@w3.org [mailto:www-html-request@w3.org] On Behalf 
> Of Yahia Chlyeh
> Sent: Wednesday, September 19, 2007 2:21 AM
> To: 3w-html
> Subject: XHTML: Combining list elements altogether
> Hello,
> On the XHTML2 drafts I see 3 list elements that fulfill the same purpose:
> being a list. These elements are <nl/>, <ul/> and <ol/>. Plus there are
> suggestions to add even more. (<toc/> anyone?)
> I have to agree that <nl/> is a good idea, but why not have a simple list
> handle navigation while having a role="nav" or something similar? I think
> user agents might not have a problem with identifying the attribute and
> incidentally making this navigational list special.
> If this is thought about, we should then, on XHTML2, get back to the
> current model of ordered and unordered lists. But, since XHTML2 is very
> different from the previous languages, then why not seize this opportunity
> and settle the lists problem once and for all? What I'm suggesting is,
> instead of having three different element names for the same thing:
> <ul><label/><li/><li/></ul>
> <ol><label/><li/><li/></ol>
> <nl><label/><li/><li/></nl>
> We could just make lists easier by writing them this way:
> <list><label/><li/><li/></list>
> with their default presentation being _unordered_ (making them ordered
> would then be done with CSS).
> I think that being unordered by default is the best way to go. While it's
> possible to style with CSS like I said earlier, I think that text-only UAs
> would need a way to display ordered lists, this is why an attribute may be
> needed (<list type="ordered">), but I'm not sure.
> So, to summarize:
> <list/> instead of <ul/>
> <list role="nav"/> instead of <nl/>
> <list type="ordered"/> or <list ordered="ordered"/> instead of <ol/>
> Wouldn't this remove the clutter of unnecessary elements?
> The <dl/> element would stay out of this.
> I searched but haven't found a thread about this, so I don't know if a
> similar suggestion has been done.
> -- 
> Yahia Chlyeh
> <http://yahia.ma/>
Received on Wednesday, 19 September 2007 16:45:25 UTC

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