[whatwg] <ins>, <del>, and <mark> crossing element boundaries

Tab Atkins Jr. jackalmage at gmail.com
Wed Apr 2 06:56:22 PDT 2008

I agree, very insightful post, MPT.  You cut to the true issues quicker than
we were doing earlier.  ^_^

Nicholas Shanks, you may well be right.  <ins>/<del>/<mark> (idm) are a form
of embedded metadata, but how would we extract such out of the html flow?
This isn't metadata about the document, after all, but about particular
pieces of content within the document.  You can't even use the dom to target
it, since, as noted, idm properly aren't hierarchical and can cross dom

I like the paired-elements proposal, much better than my earlier ideas of
being able to wrap <li></li> in idm.  It gives you all the power of idm
while retaining a well-formed dom tree.  However, it's not ideal.  The stuff
in the range is no longer targetable with CSS, frex.  We could poke at CSS3
to have a new pseudo-element set for idm, but meh.  How do implementors feel
about this?


On Wed, Apr 2, 2008 at 8:05 AM, Nicholas Shanks <contact at nickshanks.com>

> On 2 Apr 2008, at 12:43 pm, Daniel Glazman wrote:
> > Matthew Paul Thomas wrote:
> >
> >  I don't know what use this observation is. Maybe it means <ins>, <del>,
> > > and <mark> shouldn't be HTML elements, but should be something else
> > > instead.
> > >
> >
> > Excellent post.
> >
> I concur. Excellent summary of how these elements are not hierarchical,
> but overlaid over the content of the document.
> The only way I can see to have these in a well-formed DOM is by using
> empty elements for both the start and end.
> <p>…<ins-start/>…</p><p>…<ins-end/>…</p>
> However, that said, I believe more strongly that the ins, del and mark are
> metadata about the document, not specifically *part* of the document, and as
> such, perhaps they need to be moved completely out of flow, either into the
> <head> or into an auxiliary metadata file. They are seldom used AFAICT, not
> being mentioned on [1], and I think there is a valid reason for this lack of
> use which should be addressed. Are the elements necessary in HTML, should
> the information they convey be specified in another manner completely?
> [1] http://code.google.com/webstats/
> — Nicholas Shanks.
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