W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-style@w3.org > January 2014

Re: Floats, books and regions

From: L. David Baron <dbaron@dbaron.org>
Date: Sun, 26 Jan 2014 18:49:03 -0800
To: François REMY <francois.remy.dev@outlook.com>
Cc: "'Håkon Wium Lie'" <howcome@opera.com>, "'Alan Stearns'" <stearns@adobe.com>, www-style@w3.org
Message-ID: <20140127024903.GA3099@crum.dbaron.org>
On Monday 2014-01-27 01:43 +0100, François REMY wrote:
> == Great ways you can use regions ==
> Alright, now, even if some people may have a hard time being convinced, there are still cases you cannot possibly solve using the proposals people have been advocating as replacement for regions. In the previous demo, regions allow to extract quotations from a continuous document and display them in quotation blocks. We can also use regions to create table of contents, or display comments about a document on the side of the pages.

In your example you use regions to create a table of contents.

Using CSS to create a table of contents seems to me to be using CSS
on the wrong side of the barrier between content and presentation; a
table of contents is a part of the content presented to the user and
should be in the content in the markup, not merely something brought
into existence by the presentation.

For a start, in HTML, one would normally expect a table of contents
to have links in it (to the sections).  These links should be links
in the markup; they should behave like links to browsers,
accessibility tools, browser extensions that examine links, search
engines, etc.

(I'd note that software might want to show navigation UI derived
from the header structure in HTML's outline algorithm.  I think
that's different from a table of contents that appears in the
document; I think today it's also largely hypothetical.)

Second, many APIs on the Web, for example, relating to selection,
scrolling a piece of content into view, etc., are designed around
the assumption that the content is part of the content.  In your
regions example, what does it mean to select text in the heading, or
that crosses a heading?  What does it mean to scroll one of those h1
elements into view programmatically?  

You might suggest that we redesign all of these APIs to deal with
content that's created by the presentation.  I don't think that's
the right approach; I think one characteristic of building software
systems is that we make simplifying assumptions / limitations some
of the time so that we can build systems with a level of complexity
that we can understand.  I think many APIs on the Web are built
around the assumption that content is part of the content, and
adding content in the presentation layer is the wrong solution.

So I don't think this is a great way to use regions; I think it's
another horrible way to use regions.


P.S.  Written on an airplane; sorry if I'm duplicating what was
said in other responses.

𝄞   L. David Baron                         http://dbaron.org/   𝄂
𝄢   Mozilla                          https://www.mozilla.org/   𝄂
             Before I built a wall I'd ask to know
             What I was walling in or walling out,
             And to whom I was like to give offense.
               - Robert Frost, Mending Wall (1914)

Received on Monday, 27 January 2014 04:32:06 UTC

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