[whatwg] HTML 5 vs. XHTML 2.0

Brian Smith brian at briansmith.org
Tue Feb 12 07:53:17 PST 2008

James Graham wrote:
> Brian Smith wrote:
> > How should advertisements be marked up?
> >   
> It's worth considering that an <advert> element (or <banner> 
> or whatever you decide to call it) would just cause style 
> rules like advert {display:none;} to  become widespread (e.g. 
> by integration into Adblock and equivalent). Therefore I 
> can't see this type of markup being used by most advertisers.

Exactly. Right now it is very difficult to build a user agent that
display advertisements in a fashion other than what the advertiser
intends. Advertisements are marked up in many different, incompatible
ways. If a simple, easy-to-implement mechanism for marking up
advertisements was standardized and deployed, then building a web
browser with good support for advertisements would be much easier.

If there was an <advert> element or equivalent, then its use would
quickly become a mandatory accessibility requirement, and its use would
pretty much be required by any site built by anybody with any money to
lose. Similarly, any jurisdiction with "truth in advertising" laws would
also require the use of such a construct.

However, I don't recommend an <advert> element. A role='advertisement'
attribute would be better, because then it could be applied to CSS
files, script files, flash content, images, video, etc.; then a smart
web browser wouldn't download that stuff at all if the user didn't want
to see it, or it could prioritize the downloading/display of other
content higher than that of advertisements.

Ian, in your analysis of existing web content, did you find many
instances of advertising?

- Brian

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