[whatwg] Menus, fallback, and backwards compatibility: ideas wanted

Ian Hickson ian at hixie.ch
Wed Dec 14 16:42:37 PST 2005

On Tue, 13 Dec 2005, Alexey Feldgendler wrote:
> I think there's nothing wrong in using the menus for navigation except 
> that such a solution makes an impression of something presentational 
> rather than semantic.

No more so, IMHO, than a <p>aragraph of <a> links, or a <ul>ist of <a> 
links, is presentational rather than semantic.

The semantics are in the <a> elements, which I fully suggest we support in 
<menu> as a kind of command.

> One possible solution that comes to my mind is describing a site map 
> with some tree of nested elements, with page titles, URIs and other meta 
> information, but without any presentational information. As this site 
> map is common for all or most pages of a site, it could be included as 
> an external XML resource.

Many people have tried this kind of thing in the past, with little 
success. As far as I can tell, there is little interest from Web authors 
in describing their site map (which is more a graph than a tree, and which 
is getting all the more dynamic with things like wikis).

My theory is that there is an inverse relationship between the level of 
abstraction involved and the level of interest from authors. Site maps in 
external files are a kind of abstraction beyond most authors.

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

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