[whatwg] several messages on alternative spellings for <gauge>/<meter>

Ian Hickson ian at hixie.ch
Thu Mar 23 00:39:27 PST 2006

Thanks to everyone for the suggestions.

I've specced out an initial draft for <meter>:


It's a bit complicated because of having to deal with all of mpt's ideas 
while still supporting all of the min/max/good/bad stuff, but I think it's 
a good compromise in design. It only handles one, two, or three segments 
(good, good/bad, bad/good, good/bad/worse, bad/good/bad, or worse/bad/ 
good). I think that covers more than 90% of the use cases for this, but if 
people feel their use case isn't being covered, please speak up now.

On Tue, 21 Mar 2006, Henri Sivonen wrote:
> > But "metre" is the correct spelling in en-AU and en-GB, and so I think 
> > much of the world outside of the US may misspell it.
> According to my dictionary, meter (measuring device) does not vary in 
> spelling. Meter (SI unit) and meter (music/poetry concept) do. So 
> incorrect spelling is not a matter of AU or GB vs. US but a matter of 
> having the wrong word (like 'their' and 'there' for many native 
> speakers).

Yeah. I've gone with <meter> for now, but if anyone comes up with 
something substantially better, or can demonstrate that their idea is 
definitely better (e.g. with stats on how authors can't spell <meter> but 
can spell <gauge>) then I'll change it.

On Tue, 21 Mar 2006, Jens Brueckmann wrote:
>   <readout>
>   <evaluation> or <eval>
>   <score>

<readout> might work... What do other people think? Is <readout> better 
than <meter>? Might have fewer typos, but's longer, and might be confused 
with <samp> ("why does it show a graph??").

On Tue, 21 Mar 2006, Ric Hardacre wrote:
> will throw in my alternative anyway:
> <progress>

That's for progress indicators, which is a separate element (different 

On Tue, 21 Mar 2006, Christoph Paeper wrote:
> *Ian Hickson*:
> > So one of the HTML5 elements is <gauge>:
> > 
> >    Relevancy: <gauge>70%</gauge>
> I haven't been reading this list for half an year, so I've probably 
> missed out the reasoning for two element types, |gauge| and |progress|, 
> instead of one, called |fraction| or some such.



Basically, they have substantially different UIs. Progress meters indicate 
change, and gauges indicate a state. They look different, they act 
different, and at the end of the day, they are different semantics.

On Tue, 21 Mar 2006, Matthew Paul Thomas wrote:
> Does that mean the HTML and CSS specifications are badly designed when 
> they use the word "color"? (Or that one of the early Risc OS Web 
> browsers was correct in recognizing the "colour" attribute as well?)
> Sometimes the best word for something is one that's often misspelled, 
> and I agree with Lachlan it's not a problem in this case. People leave 
> language= misspelled only because it has no obvious effect. With 
> <gauge>, as with "color", the result will be very obvious and the 
> correct spelling quickly learned.

It's not a matter of people misspelling it in their finished documents, 
it's a matter of usability. If you keep misspelling the tag name and then 
fixing it, you're going to waste a lot of time. If we can avoid the entire 
problem by reducing the total number of typos, we'll save the human race 
many minutes of wasted life, reduce stress, and increase the amount of 
time that Web devs can spend with their kids. :-)

Ian Hickson               U+1047E                )\._.,--....,'``.    fL
http://ln.hixie.ch/       U+263A                /,   _.. \   _\  ;`._ ,.
Things that are impossible just take longer.   `._.-(,_..'--(,_..'`-.;.'

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