[whatwg] Sequential List Proposal

Michel Fortin michel.fortin at michelf.com
Tue Apr 17 09:54:20 PDT 2007

Le 2007-04-08 à 14:42, Elliotte Harold a écrit :

> Sounds a little redundant with ol (ordered list).

It is indeed a little redundant with <ol>, although it is more  
specific in the same sense than <dl> is more specific than <ul>.

> Also sounds needlessly confusing and hard to explain.

Having written the thing, I can agree with that.

> I'm not sure we really need dialog, but at least it's simple and  
> obvious to explain to people what it means. The more abstract and  
> generic we get the harder this becomes.

I agree it is problematic.

What I find silly with the current <dialog> proposal is that it just  
can't handle a lot of trivial cases which would otherwise be perfect  
use cases. It can't because you can't include non-spoken events to be  
inserted in the sequence.

But then if you allow non-spoken events another problem arise: are  
dialogs with no spoken part at all allowable? Should the document  
suddently become invalid when someone deletes the last bit of spoken  
text in a <dialog> and there remains only some timestamps or events?

So I tried to fix this by explicitely marking it as a list of  
sequential events and allowing it to contain no spoken parts. But I  
can't disagree with any of the critisism it got: the result isn't so  
good especially because it's confusing. And I can't say I'm very  
pleased with the mixing of <dt> and <dd> with regular list items (<li>).

My conclusion is: there shouldn't be a <dialog> element, or any  
element  encompassing the whole dialogue. We should let the dialog be  
merged with other textual parts. An element to markup the speaker and  
another to markup the spoken text and which authors can insert  
anywhere there are spoken parts is sufficient in my opinion, and  
would play pretty well with whatever needs to be inserted in the  
middle of the dialog.

As an example:

     <p><speaker>Me</speaker>: <speech>... and that was all I had to  

     <p>Someone else enter the room.</p>

     <p><speaker>Someone else</speaker>: (thinking aloud) <speech>Wow! 

Otherwise, the spec tries to draw the line between what is and what  
is not a valid dialog... that should be the author's call in my opinion.

Michel Fortin
michel.fortin at michelf.com

More information about the whatwg mailing list