[whatwg] @Irrelevant [was: Re: Thoughts on HTML 5]

Nicholas C. Zakas html at nczonline.net
Fri Feb 29 20:48:04 PST 2008

>From this thread, it seems like the true purpose of irrelevant is to add to HTML the logical equivalent of display:none in CSS. If that is true, then I'd agree with Jeff that renaming the attribute "ignore" or "omit" is a good idea. Can anyone either confirm or deny the purpose of this attribute as the following description:

"This attribute is used to indicate part of a document whose content is not considered primary to the page. In visual UAs, elements with this attribute are not rendered; in non-visual UAs, elements with this attribute are not read as part of the normal content flow."



----- Original Message ----
From: Jeff Walden <jwalden at MIT.EDU>
To: Nicholas C. Zakas <html at nczonline.net>
Cc: James Graham <jg307 at cam.ac.uk>; whatwg at lists.whatwg.org
Sent: Friday, February 29, 2008 11:41:41 AM
Subject: Re: [whatwg] @Irrelevant [was: Re:  Thoughts on HTML 5]

Nicholas C. Zakas wrote:
> If the true purpose of the irrelevant attribute is to aid in 
> accessibility, then I think the name is completely wrong. The term 
> "irrelevant" is confusing because, as I stated before, why would anyone 
> include content in a page that is irrelevant? What you really need is a 
> way to say "this is relevant only for non-visual UA's". Perhaps a better 
> attribute name would be "nonvisual"?

Unnecessarily suggests a particular medium of display; I suggest the shorter alternatives ignore(d) or omit(ted) if you really want the functionality.

The biggest problem with the attribute is the spec doesn't sufficiently clearly describe the motivation for it; I suggest mentioning the preloading of iframes as such an example (they don't load/render if they're display:none, so it's either visibility:hidden (?) or launching the element into outer space offscreen with position/top/left), perhaps in an informative paragraph.


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