[whatwg] The m element

Sarven Capadisli csarven at gmail.com
Sun Feb 4 16:19:56 PST 2007

re: http://www.whatwg.org/specs/web-apps/current-work/#the-m

Following is a conversation from #whatwg on freenode.

<csarven> if anyone would like to explain the `m` element further, i'd
appreciate it. couldn't get much info out of the whatwg Archives

<zcorpan> you use it to mark text

<csarven> 'mark' as in making the location of the content more
significant then the rest?

<zcorpan> not sure what you mean with the location

<csarven> where the mentioned text is in the document.

<csarven> to me it seems to be more of a presentational issue then
having a semantic meaning behind it

<zcorpan> there may be different reasons behind why you want to mark
or highlight a piece of text

<csarven> for instance?

<zcorpan> one reason might be to highlight search terms, another may
be to mark errors in the document, or things you should remember

<csarven> in those cases the marked text has no extra meaning other
then how it would be viewed or interpreted. "highlighting does not
change the reading of the text when you're reading straight through,
it just helps you find the bits you should pay attention to." -

<csarven> in that sense, why not `span` with a class?

<csarven> im trying to understand this better (not arguing with you) :)

<zcorpan> span with a class is longer to type :)

<csarven> that i can't argue :)

<mpt> Like on those pissantly annoying "Welcome Google user! You
searched for xyz" pages, where xyz is highlighted

<csarven> the 'text' though has no extra meaning. `m` seems to handle
a presentational issue. like i was wondering, why not `span` with a
class which can cover numerous cases similar to highlighting

<zcorpan> i don't think highlighting is presentational

<csarven> how should `m` be treated under Lynx?

<zcorpan> it could have a different text color and you could have a
shortcut key to jump to the next <m> element

<csarven> as opposed to a predefined class name 'marked' that does just that?

<zcorpan> i don't think <m> is any better than <span class=marked>
except that the former is shorter

<csarven> but thats introducing a new element for a very narrow usage
especially where it has no extra meaning. given the idea that the
reading of the marked text is no different then any other text on the
page, i fail to see why a new element is necessary where `span` with a
class can handle this scenario. i also can't come to terms with a new
element being introduced because `span` with a class is too long in
comparison to `m`. :)

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