[whatwg] Re: About XHTML 2.0

Matthew Raymond mattraymond at earthlink.net
Thu Jun 9 18:11:08 PDT 2005

Christoph Päper wrote:
> Matthew Raymond:
>>Christoph Päper wrote:
>>   If you're going to quote someone, don't remove portions of the quote 
>>without indicating you have done so.
> Please, I used "(...)" (because we were discussing semantics not CSS
> capabilities) and the rest is just obviously shortened.

    You did not use square brackets ("[", "]") which are the standard 
for such abbreviation of quotes. People use standard parentheses all the 
time in messages, so it's not an effective way of indicating that you 
changed the quote. Heck, I wrote what you were quoting and I didn't even 
pick up on it until you mentioned it now.

>>>Yes. It's just like
>>>   Foo
>>>   <br>
>>>   Bar
>>>     Foo
>>>   </p><p>
>>>     Bar.
>>   The first would yield the following:
>>| Foo
>>| Bar
>>   The second would yield this:
>>| Foo
>>| Bar
> You are thinking way to presentational! Who says there has to be an
> empty line (or a margin of 1em) between paragraphs? But if you like,
> you can replace that instance of 'br' with multiple ones.

    I was pointing out the presentation, but in part it was to show that 
the semantics behind the presentation wasn't the same. In fact, a better 
example would be to use a fictional <line> element:

| Foo<br>Bar


| <line>Foo</line><line>Bar</line>

    A <br> element does not necessarily indicate the end of a paragraph. 
You might argue it's purely presentational (as you could with <line> for 
that matter), but that doesn't make it a way of separating two 
paragraphs... Or at least not unless you use more than one, and even 
then you're assuming there has to be space between paragraphs.

>>>That's why I said that you could also use 'class' on 'p' instead of 
>>>'div' around 'p' to do the grouping.
>>   So now the web author not only am I forced to define sections and CSS 
>>for the sections just to get a separator, but I have to give the 
>>sections names as well...
> No, you don't have to. You could class the sections /additionally/ or 
> the paragraphs /instead/ (or additionally).

    Actually, while the author is probably using <p> elements, he/she 
may or may not be using classes (which would be /additional/), and 
he/she will definitely not be using classes for any kind of hyperlink 
anchor. Also, the presentation of a separator would still require CSS in 
this case, so you end up writing more in any case and for both XHTML and 
CSS documents.

>>If I want to treat a chapter as one big, flat section, and the only
>>exception is where I have the separator, then it makes perfect sense.
> We're running in circles. I can't see a semantical reason for doing so 
> (i.e. nobody provided one)

    Actually, you did. You suggested that it's meaning was to indicate 
the beginning of one section and the start of another. The heading 
elements (<h1>, <h2>, et cetera) has similar semantics.

> and thus don't see the reason for a 
> 'separator' (or 'hr') element type in XHTML.

    I really don't see a reason for XHTML 2.0. I think the best of it 
will get absorbed into "HTML5", and XHTML 2.0 itself will be forgotten.

    That said, people clearly use separator elements extensively in web 
pages now. Forcing them to use a different, more difficult standard for 
the same purpose because you want marginal improvements in the structure 
of the markup just isn't going to work. Vendors are simply going to turn 
around and implement XHTML 2.0 + <separator>.

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