[whatwg] <p> elements containing other block-level elements

dolphinling dolphinling at myrealbox.com
Thu Jul 14 13:09:25 PDT 2005

Ian Hickson wrote:
> One thing that XHTML2 does which makes a lot of sense to me is allow 
> nesting of certain elements within <p> elements, as in:

I disagree.

> Other elements that I could see being nested inside a paragraph are:
>   * <ol>
>   * <ul>
>   * <dl>

It's been said that no one will use these except people who write about 
this kind of thing on their weblogs. I think this is for a very 
important reason: people are lazy, and they don't want to do any more 
than they have to to get the job done. In the case of a paragraph with a 
list inside of it, *the semantics are imparted by the natural language 
of the document*. If I write "...an egg, flour, and butter...", I don't 
need to write <ul>, because it's already a list. And since I don't need 
to, I won't.

HTML should not attempt to describe language, because no one will use it.

>   * <menu>
>   * <table>
>   * <pre> 

These I also disagree with, for a different reason having to do with the 
semantics of the <p> element.

As much as we tell people that "<p> doesn't mean 'line break', it means 
'paragraph'!", that's not true. <p> doesn't mean "paragraph", it means 
"a standalone block of text". This is true everywhere on the internet: 
the w3c specs, the current work of the whatwg specs, my webpages, and 
I'm sure the webpages of everyone else here.

And this is better than having it mean "paragraph". Like I said before, 
HTML should not attempt to describe language. Plus, a document 
description language like HTML needs a "standalone block of text" 
element. If <p> is reappropriated to actually mean paragraph, then HTML 
won't have one.

This is the case for <blockquote> in <p>, too. If a blockquote is in a 
paragraph, that's something that natural language describes, not HTML. I 
  don't think <p><blockquote/></p> should be allowed.

P.S.: Sorry for being 3 months late to the discussion. I'm 600 mails 
behind now, trying to catch up. Also sorry if this thread has come up 
elsewhere, I didn't see it in the subjects.


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