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

Simon Pieters zcorpan at hotmail.com
Wed Oct 12 13:07:43 PDT 2005

>On Wed, 12 Oct 2005, James Graham wrote:
> >
> > <p>The correct answer is <ref target="#correct" />) All of the above</p>
> >
> > Getting a decent backwards compatibility story seems, uh, non-trivial at
> > the least. Of course this is true of CSS3 generated content as well but
> > that doesn't seem to bother people so much...
>I like your idea. I don't know that there realy is a back-compat problem,
>we could just say that it accepts text content, so you could write:
>    <p>The correct answer is <ref target="#correct">f</ref> All of the
>    above</p>
>...until such time as enough browsers support <ref> that you don't worry
>anymore; since the answer number is (at least in this case) just
>additional information (the answer is given right there too) it isn't a
>huge problem if it is lost.

I don't think this is a good solution, simply because authors would never 
use it. For instance, take any weblog with a quiz[1][2]; is it really 
expected that the visitors should mark up their comments with <ref>s?

>Matthew Thomas wrote:
>>I'd also like to see <ol type= reintroduced, for the reasons Simon gave. 
>>It is especially semantically important in legal documents (for the same 
>>reasons start= is).
>I agree that making sure the numbering is correct in legal documents (and 
>other documents that have the same type of structure) is semantically 
>important. I don't think that automatically generated numbering is the way 
>to do it, though.
>In a legal document, as I understand it, the fact that something is 
>*Section 4* is important. Not that it's the fourth section, but that it's 
>*Section 4*. If section 3 is removed, section 4 stays *Section 4*. (Because 
>you'd need to update all the documents which reference it, which would 
>never be done.)
>An ordered list isn't appropriate for that situation. An ordered list is 
>appropriate for the situation in which I have 5 things I need to do, in 
>order. When I realize that I don't need to do thing #2, I now have four 
>things I need to do, in order.
>So I don't think legal documents is an appropriate reason to reintroduce 

That's an interesting view. Would it be more appropriate to use, for 

# <ul>
#  <li>(a) foo
#  <li>(b) bar
#  <li>(c) baz
# </ul>

...where the name of the item is more important than the order? If so, that 
this satisfies my conserns. Thanks.

[2] http://www.simplebits.com/notebook/2004/08/13/sq_conclusion.html

Simon Pieters

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