[whatwg] Quick thought on the Combo Box problem...

Anne van Kesteren (fora) fora at annevankesteren.nl
Wed Jun 30 01:14:34 PDT 2004

> My bad. I actually don't want a generic list element (be it <list> or 
> <ul>), I was merely speculating. 

HTML is about generalizing things to make it actually useful. There are 
of course a couple of contradictions within the specification, but it is 
about generalized elements useful for multiple purposes.

> I would prefer <datalist> because it 
> clearly specifies what the list is --- a list of data. (As opposed to a 
> list of summary points, or a list of links, or a navigation menu. <ul> 
> is used to represent all of these --- which is, IMO, to the detriment of 
> meaning.)

Could be, but that is also the power of HTML. You could store the data 
differently in your back end though. Or provide an alternative RDF 
documents, which could describe the semantics perfectly.

>>> and then have a 'type' attribute to specialise it for whatever 
>>> purpose you want (since there is no <list> tag atm).

TYPE should only be used on the INPUT elements for backwards 
compatibility and describe the MIME of an external file, although you 
can never be sure what the external file's MIME type is.

> Fair enough. Type (like class or category or kind) is a generic word 
> meaning 'belongs to the set'. It's unsurprising it gets overused, and I 
> agree it should be avoided.

One could use CLASS to distinguish or introduce some other attribute, 
but TYPE shouldn't be used for more purposes.

  Anne van Kesteren

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