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

James Graham jg307 at cam.ac.uk
Wed Oct 12 14:24:44 PDT 2005

Kornel Lesinski wrote:

> On Wed, 12 Oct 2005 17:11:40 +0100, Ian Hickson <ian at hixie.ch> wrote:
>> BTW I'd be tempted to suggest that the attribute on <ref> be for="" and
>> that it take an IDREF rather than a URI, to avoid any chance that people
>> might try to refer to things in other documents and expect it to 
>> work,  and also for consistency with <label for=""> and <output 
>> for=""> -- what  do
>> you think?
> I like the idea, but I see some minor problems:
> - user agents may need to stop progressive rendering if there is 
> forward  reference (<ref />  before referenced list item).

This might be a slight problem.  FWIW LaTeX requires multiple 
invocations to get forward references. One solution is to specify that, 
if a reference does not exist, no fallback content should be displayed 
until the full document DOM has been loaded. If the reference is found 
in the meantime, it is displayed (this then  only requires a reflow 
which will typically be a few characters inserted and so probably not a 
big layout change). Only if nothing is found is the fallback displayed.

> - what if CSS markers/list-style are dynamically chaged (on hover or 
> using  js)? Should references be changed realtime as well? As far as I 
> know there  isn't any similar element in CSS, so engines may not be 
> prepared to  support something like that.

It's not clear to me why this is any harder than updating the 
list-markers themselves, especillay if they're not numbering a set of 
<li>s but some <sections> or somesuch.

> - what should be done with references to non-existant ID? I think that 
> if  fallback content is displayed in such case, it will lead to 
> hard-to-spot  errors:
> <ol><li id="foo" /></ol>
> See <ref to="f00">1</ref>.
> In testing it will seem OK to author, but will break when list is 
> changed.

That seems very minor. One can easily test without fallback content to 
catch these errors, or try changing the list style, or whatever.

 "As soon as people come up with a measurable substitute for whatever it is they care about they start treating it as more important than the real thing"
-Boris Zbarsky

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