[whatwg] New markup constructs

James Graham jg307 at cam.ac.uk
Tue Feb 20 05:00:23 PST 2007

Gervase Markham wrote:
> James Graham wrote:
>> [1] http://code.google.com/webstats/2005-12/classes.html
> What a useful URL. Where in that data is the basis for this "hi" or "m" 
> element which has caused so much discussion recently?

Since it is designed as an annotation to a page rather than a part of the 
markup, I don't think that it would show up in such a study.

> As I skim the flood of mail on that subject, I must confess that it 
> seems that, while prospective use cases can be constructed, and fine 
> semantic details can be carefully defined, I don't see the web today 
> crying out for this element, or having to work around its lack.

I believe the element was introduced on the basis that there are lots of pages 
that perform some kind of highlighting, especially of others' content e.g. 
Google [1] and Yahoo[2] both use this on their cache pages, cam.ac.uk use it on 
their search pages [3] (as I suspect do any other ultraseek based searches) and 
popular browser addons seem to offer this functionality e.g. [4]. I certianly 
agree that there are sufficient real world examples of the proposed semantics to 
make this element worth consideration. Presumably the benefits of a specific 
element would include a better accessibility story and CSS-based customisation 
of the highlighting style.

> The current spec is pretty massive, and contains a lot of good stuff. As 
> the above URL shows, we've covered all the major bases. At this stage, 
> should we be erring on the side of not increasing the size without an 
> excellent, real-world reason?

I strongly agree with that in general.

[3] http://web-search.cam.ac.uk/query.html?qt=xray
"Eternity's a terrible thought. I mean, where's it all going to end?"
  -- Tom Stoppard, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead

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