[whatwg] [html5] 2.8. Edits

Ian Hickson ian at hixie.ch
Mon Apr 18 01:40:10 PDT 2005

On Mon, 18 Apr 2005, Anne van Kesteren wrote:
> Now I know backwards compatibility is important[1], but DEL and INS are 
> insanely complex to use and do not cover all "edit" use cases.

Can you give some examples they don't cover?

I'm aware of some, for example to mark a list item as deleted you can only 
mark the contents as deleted, not the item itself. But I don't see these 
as major enough changes to require changing the edit markup model.

> What XHTML2 does makes more sense to me (introducing a global attribute) 
> and also covers the use cases you see most online.

It looked to me like the use of an attribute in XHTML2 was actually a hack 
to get around limitations of DTDs and of CSS. HTML5's design isn't being 
constrained by either of those so I don't see why edit="" is better.

> Editing forum posts, weblog posts, etc. With forum posts there is mostly a
> note that the user edited his comment but you never see "though<ins>t</ins>".
> You see something like: "Last time edited: {date}".

I actually see inline comments about when things were fixed more often 
than I see "last edited", but that may just be the blogs I frequent.

> Now if you could say somehow that the contents of some element have been 
> modified

You can. Wrap those bits you removed in a <del> and wrap the new bits in 
an <ins>.

>  <article edit="modified" datetime="{datetime}">
>   ...
> You could easily present that information to the user using CSS or some 
> other mechanism.

The information is there with <ins>/<del> as well.

> INS and DEL are IMHO not really appropriate for those kind of edits.

On the contrary, I think they are the kinds of edits most suitable to 
<ins>. It certainly leaves more metadata in the document.

It may be helpful for authors to use these rules:

   ins { text-decoration: none; color: inherit; }
   del { display: block; }

Ian Hickson               U+1047E                )\._.,--....,'``.    fL
http://ln.hixie.ch/       U+263A                /,   _.. \   _\  ;`._ ,.
Things that are impossible just take longer.   `._.-(,_..'--(,_..'`-.;.'

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