[whatwg] [html5] thoughts

Ian Hickson ian at hixie.ch
Tue Nov 9 06:48:13 PST 2004

On Sat, 28 Aug 2004, Anne van Kesteren wrote:
> > >
> > > It would be nice to know what the WG thinks of this. Will the WG 
> > > restrict themselves to extending Web Forms and Web Applications in 
> > > HTML or will some other aspects, that are less relevant (for this 
> > > WG, at least), be addressed as well?
> > 
> > Like what?
> Semantic elements (things that are not related to forms or applications, 
> but would make sense in HTML 5.0).

Yes, I intend to include stuff like that in Web Apps. The whiteboard in my 
office currently has a list of elements under the heading "HTML5 BLOCK 
LEVEL ELEMENTS", and I'm trying to work out how to make them work well 
(the elements in question are currently mentioned in the draft, but the 
draft doesn't handle headers at all well). I haven't looked at inline 
markup yet, but that's on the cards too.

> Having an element NAME would be very useful.

Could you expand on this? For things like films, books, etc, I was 
thinking of "clarifying" the definition of <cite>, but I haven't really 
thought of that much yet.

> I recently spotted a very nice proposal on www-html-editor for making Q 
> backwards compatible[1]:
> # No, I don't think that's the basic problem. The basic problem is that
> # <q> was designed not to degrade gracefully. Browsers that do not
> # recognize or do not support <q> markup now render just the context,
> # omitting the potentially vital information that it's a quotation.
> # Markup like <q><qm>"</qm>To be or not to be, that is the
> # question<qm>"</qm>.</q> would degrade gracefully. Here qm elements
> # would contain quotation marks that are to be omitted by user agents
> # that support the q element.
> # (Cf. to ideas of Ruby markup.)
> (If WHATWG will do these kind of things I think this certainly should be 
> included, since it is all about being backwards compatible and this 
> would make HTML more backwards compatible than it currently is, at 
> least, for the Q element.)

But <qm> is really ugly.


...when all you really wanted to say was:


...is a little verbose for my tastes. I'd rather drop the entire <q> 
element than introduce that kind of verbosity. But better would be to find 
another solution altogether. (e.g. adding a feature to CSS to let CSS 
automatically remove the quote marks from inside quotations so that they 
can be replaced with typographically better ones.)

> Other changes that I would like to see is deprecation of certain 
> elements and attributes. Elements like BIG, SMALL and ACRONYM perhaps. 
> Attributes would be CELLPADDING and CELLSPACING. There might be more, if 
> this is part of the direction WHATWG is going to take I will investigate 
> them and post them on the list.

Yes, I think Web Apps will cover this, at least to some extent. It should 
probably be in its own draft, really, but at this point Web Apps is 
basically HTML5 (except with the forms stuff in Web Forms 2).

Ian Hickson               U+1047E                )\._.,--....,'``.    fL
http://ln.hixie.ch/       U+263A                /,   _.. \   _\  ;`._ ,.
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