[whatwg] [WA1] <ol type=a> is semantic

James Graham jg307 at cam.ac.uk
Wed Oct 12 09:52:52 PDT 2005

Lachlan Hunt wrote:
> I like that too.  I was thinking something along the same lines when I 
> read the earlier posts in this thread, though (as you mentioned) I would 
> have used the for attribute as an IDREF instead.
> I can, however, think of the following issues:
> 1. Can it only refer to a <li id="foo"> element?  Are there any
>    use-cases for allowing it to refer to other elements?

Yes - numbered figures, numbered sections, numbered tables, etc. 
Basically it should be tied to CSS counters (obviously if a UA supported 
another styling language, it could use any provision that language has 
for counters instead) and so the use case is "anywhere there's a CSS 
counters use case".

> 2. What about <li>s in <ul> or non-<li> elements?  What value would be
>    used, or should it just use the fallback content?

Fallback content as there's no counter here (I assume - I admit I 
haven't read the CSS2.1 counters spec closely).

> 3. Assuming <ref> gets replaced with the value of the counter from the
>    target element, what happens if the counter has been removed with CSS
>    i.e. what's the default value?  Should it just use the fallback
>    content provided in such cases?

Yes. On the other hand if the counter is just _hidden_ for some reason 
then the <ref> should still use the computed value of the counter for 
the element it points to.

> 4. Authors are likely to provide fallback content that is dependant upon
>    the presentation.  i.e. Your example used "f", but assuming no
>    type="a" attribute and no CSS, the list item's counter will probably
>    display "6." instead.
>    It's probably not a serious issue, since users may be smart enough to
>    work out that "f" is the 6th letter, and thus refers to the 6th item.

Of course that's already a problem.

"It seems to be a constant throughout history: In every period, people 
believed things that were just ridiculous, and believed them so strongly 
that you would have gotten in terrible trouble for saying otherwise."

-- http://www.paulgraham.com/say.html

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