[whatwg] Re: getElementsByClassName

Dean Edwards dean at edwards.name
Mon Sep 5 17:51:01 PDT 2005

Ian Hickson wrote:
> On Tue, 6 Sep 2005, Dean Edwards wrote:
>>>>It would be better to define that class names should not contain 
>>>>white space.
>>>Well, we can't really control that, I mean, other languages can invent 
>>>whatever they want (and frequently do).
>>I thought we were controlling that. Isn't that what we are doing?
> We're defining what "class" means for HTML(5), and what the behaviour of 
> getElemetsByClassName() in the DOM should be. But if someone invents 
> FooBarML that has classes with spaces in it, CSS will match them (for 
> example, ".a\ b"), and I don't see why getElementsByClassName should not 
> be capable of matching them given that it falls simply out of the current 
> definition.
> However, this is all highly theoretical.

That's right. We are defining HTML5 and the DOM extensions to support 
it. If other languages want to add different class name delimiters, let 
them. My hunch is that they will follow suit. This is a good opportunity 
to make it clear. HTML has always led the way. It also ensures 


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