[whatwg] Suggestions and questions for Web Forms 2.0, 2004-12-26

James Graham jg307 at cam.ac.uk
Mon Jan 10 02:37:26 PST 2005

Matthew Thomas wrote:

>>>> The children of a form element must be block-level elements, 
>>>> unless  one of the ancestors of the form element is a td, th, li, 
>>>> dd, or  block-level element other than div, in which case either 
>>>> block-level  or inline-level content is allowed (but not both).
>>> 10. Why the exception of <div>?
>> The idea here is to allow certain cases that were disallowed in HTML4,
>> despite being semantically adequate. The <div> element, however,  
>> doesn't add any semantics, and so doesn't make the case semantically  
>> adequate.
> Semantically adequate for what? This will cause people to use 
> semantic  elements inappropriately (most likely, use <p></p> for 
> something that  isn't a paragraph), weakening the overall 
> meaningfulness of the  elements (for example, making a word 
> processor's paragraph count return  incorrect results). As Jim Ley 
> said earlier  
> <http://listserver.dreamhost.com/pipermail/whatwg-whatwg.org/2005- 
> January/002798.html>, HTML elements cover Web-document semantics 
> rather  than application semantics, so the probability of HTML 
> containing a  non-<div> element appropriate for the meaning of any 
> given form is near  zero.

+1 We shouldn't introduce artifical restrictions that can't possibly be 
enforced and will quickly lead to reality going out of sync with the 
spec. Plus <div> is, as Matthew says, going to be needed in any language 
sufficiently simple as to be used correctly by most well-meaning authors.

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