[whatwg] several messages about <hr> and related subjects

Christoph Päper christoph.paeper at crissov.de
Fri Feb 22 07:16:33 PST 2008

Ian Hickson:
> On Wed, 8 Jun 2005, Christoph Päper wrote:
>> Ian Hickson:
>>> On Mon, 23 May 2005, Christoph Päper wrote:

I almost didn't remember I was so vigorously against |hr|.

>> Everything inside a 'div' belongs together somehow and everything
>> that shares a class (...) is related to each other somehow. You
>> cannot know /how/, but /that/.

I still believe in these implicit semantics.

For a structure like   section
                         p+      there are three kinds of grouping |p|s:
- Enclosure*           section
- Association*         section
- Separation*          section

I consider the first natural, the second more flexible but weaker and the
third visual. For it's already there, it's pragmatic to retain the option to
use an empty separator. I still don't like it conceptually.

* There are better, established names for sure.

>>> An <hr> is equivalent to a <p> with the content "Meanwhile, somewhere
>>> else..." or similar (...).
>> No, it's not. You are connecting it with the succeeding element instance,
>> but it's not. Anyhow, if it was, why wouldn't you use a 'p' with that
>> content or an empty one?
> Convenience, clarity.

In your opinion today, is |hr| in HTML5 structurally (and semantically) about
equivalent to an empty paragraph or to an empty heading?
You were comparing it with |p|, but seemed to assign it rather the lead-in
function of |h|/|h#|, which could provide ideas for a revised expansion of
'hr' (e.g. "heading rudiment").

>> I, on the opposite, think that it's unnatural to mark the end of one
>> thing and the start of a second, but neither the start of the first nor
>> the end of the second. The reason you can do this in a printed work is,
>> that these are *implied* by chapter starts and ends. [DTD stuff snipped]
> I think it is unrealistic to expect most authors to think this way.

Really? If we can get them to think in semantics rather than in visual styles,
why would it be harder for them to think in enclosure or association than in
separation? (I assume they already understand that a horizontal rule separates
two (runs of) elements on the same level.)

> I disagree that hierarchy need be the way we mark things up here.

It makes styling with CSS easier, though.

> On Thu, 9 Jun 2005, Christoph Päper wrote:
>> Okay, with the goals of WHAT-WG and HTML5 it's maybe acceptable to
>> retain 'hr', but for XHTML2 [it] must go.

So I already conceded.

>> It's just like   Foo<br>Bar   versus   Foo</p><p>Bar.
> The former would be the correct way to mark up an address or poem, though.
> Each line of an address or poem is not a separate paragraph, it's just a
> line.

I also like enclosing |l| -- |p| was the wrong equivalent here -- better than
separating |br| of course.

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