[whatwg] Re: About XHTML 2.0

Christoph Päper christoph.paeper at tu-clausthal.de
Wed Jun 8 15:23:43 PDT 2005

Matthew Raymond:
> Christoph Päper wrote:
>    The <div> (as well as <span>) does indeed have semantic meaning in 
> that it can group things. However, in the case of replacing <hr>, I 
> don't see how this semantic information can actually be used to benefit 
> the user. It's certainly useless on modern browsers from a presentation 
> standpoint if I turn CSS off.

Okay, with the goals of WHAT-WG and HTML5 it's maybe acceptable to 
retain 'hr', but for XHTML2, which wants to make a clean re-start, this 
unsemantic element type (under whatever name) must go.

>    Oh really? So you're saying that if I have some text...
> | Paragraph 3
> | * * *
> | Paragraph 4
>    ...it's more natural for an author to do this...
> |   <p>Paragraph 3</p>
> | </section>
> | <section>
> |   <p>Paragraph 4</p>
> (...) instead of this:
> | <p>Paragraph 3</p>
> | <hr>
> | <p>Paragraph 4</p>

Yes. It's just like




> | <section>
> |   <p>Paragraph 1</p>
> | </section>
> | <section>
> |   <p>Meanwhile, Paragraph 2</p>
> |   <p>Paragraph 3</p>
> | </section>
> | <section>
> |   <p>Paragraph 4</p>
> |   <p>Paragraph 5</p>
> | </section>
> | <section>
> |   <p>At the same time, Paragraph 6</p>
> | </section>

That's why I said that you could also use 'class' on 'p' instead of 
'div' around 'p' to do the grouping. I also don't see a problem with 
'div' here, though, because it does just have to group the perspectives 
inside a chapter. Of course you would have to add 'div' in all 'section' 
of a kind---it doesn't make sense to add that structural layer only 
where you want visual separators (at the moment). I know that dropping 
'hr' means more mark-up, but also better.

>> in all the alledged use cases that have 
>> presented in favor of 'hr' or 'separator', I see a structure (or 
>> hierarchy), that demands not a divider but a grouper.
> The presentation doesn't demand grouping, it demands a separator.

No, it demands visual /separation/. A separator like 'hr' is just one 
way to achieve this. Perhaps the main problem for many (here) is, that 
current browsers don't render adjacent 'div' notably.

 > I can't think of any behavior implied by <hr>, and you don't
> provide a use case for why we need the extra grouping elements or how 
> they will be used.

I don't want extra grouping element types (if you meant that), 'div' is 
just fine.
I already gave examples like extraction or background visuals or audio; 
many other stylings are possible (e.g. alternating alignment).

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