[whatwg] Element name expressiveness

Ian Hickson ian at hixie.ch
Mon Dec 10 21:31:26 PST 2007

On Tue, 31 Oct 2006, Michel Fortin wrote:
> That's a personal opinion, but I think it may have some value.
> I find the proposed <x> and <t> elements to lack expressiveness in their 
> names. I understand that making them shorter is desirable, but it also 
> has a drawback: they're harder to understand simply by looking at the 
> source and their meaning can more easily be misunderstood. Not everybody 
> read the spec and those that don't are more prone to use them 
> inappropriately.
> Personally, I'd favor <term> and <time> instead, or anything else that 
> conveys a meaning. That's especially important since these element will 
> have, most of the time, no noticeable effect on the visual 
> representation of the document.

<x>/<term> is gone, and <t> is now <time>.

<m> is the only (I think) element we're adding that's one character long. 
That element is contentious and will be examined further at some point.

On Wed, 1 Nov 2006, Michael(tm) Smith wrote:
> Given that <xref> as used in other vocabularies is a general 
> cross-reference element that's optionally empty (if empty the text of 
> the cross-reference is generated from the title of element it 
> references), and given that the Web Apps 1.0 <x> isn't a general 
> cross-reference element but instead non-empty "a cross-reference to an 
> instance of the use of a term, such as a taxonomic designation, 
> technical term, an idiomatic phrase from another language, or similar", 
> <term> seems more appropriate than <xref>

The closest element to this is now <i>.

On Wed, 1 Nov 2006, Michael(tm) Smith wrote:
> If the design criteria were to try to keep names of new elements 
> reasonably short while still having unobscure meanings, then <time> and 
> <term> would seem to meet that criteria, and <m> would better be <mark>. 
> But I'm not sure what the criteria are. I mean, what's the rationale 
> behind having <meter> and <progress> while reducing the name of the 
> date/time element to <t>?

It's mostly about how often the elements are expected to be used.

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

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