[whatwg] Thoughts on HTML 5
ian at hixie.ch
Tue May 13 03:37:55 PDT 2008
On Thu, 28 Feb 2008 html at nczonline.net wrote:
> I've just finished taking a look at the working draft of HTML 5 and
> thought I'd share my thoughts. Clearly, HTML 5 is meant as an evolution
> of HTML 4, which has both its good and bad points. Accordingly, there
> are both good and bad parts of the specification. My thoughts are as
(I've omitted replies to some parts of your e-mail. I have saved your
e-mail for further replies to those sections later.)
> * I understand the concept of the <dialog/> element but it's named
> completely wrong. The point is to markup a conversation between two or
> more parties. The problem is that the word "dialog", when in used in
> user interfaces, refers to small windows that can be interacted with.
> When I first read about this element, I assumed it was a way to indicate
> that part of the page is a dialog window outside of the normal flow of
> the document (which I thought was cool). After reading the rest, I was
> disappointed to find out that wasn't the intent. I'd rename this element
> as <conversation/> or <discussion/> to avoid such misunderstandings.
I agree that the name is suboptimal but those names are worse (they're too
long, and they're overly specific). I'm not sure what to do about this.
> * The <dfn/> is another that stresses the understanding of
> grammatical structure for web developers. The intent is to designate the
> defining instance of a term, abberviation, or acronym. Does that make
> sense to you? If it did, give yourself one point; if it didn't, don't
> feel bad, most people won't get it. Again, any element that leaves
> people scratching their heads probably isn't necessary or useful.
<dfn> doesn't have to be used, but for certain cases it's very useful. I
don't think it's a problem to keep it.
> * Speaking of confusing, I've read the section about the <meter/>
> element five times now and still have no idea what it's used for.
I don't know how to improve the current text. Does the example showing the
newsgroups activity help at all?
The real reason for <meter> is that we need to make sure people don't
abuse <progress> just to show gauges (e.g. disk space usage). Does that
make sense? How should we go about better describing this?
> * I'd like to see some treatment of rich text input controls. Right
> now we all use a hack (an iframe in design mode) that has to be copied
> over into a form field to be submitted. It would be nice to have this
> handled natively and have reliable HTML formatting of that content
> (instead of the per-browser implementations we have now).
> Also "contenteditable" doesn't solve my issue with rich text editing. It
> solves the ability to do it, but not a straightforward way to do it in
> the context of a form and submit it back to the server without some
> intermediary code. My point is that there should be a way to submit rich
The problem is that while everyone seems to want a rich text control,
nobody seems to agree on exactly what it should allow. Thus
contenteditable, and the ability for people to roll their own.
> * I'd like to see a common attribute that can be used on any element
> to indicate information related to the element. I'm tired of fighting
> the custom attribute battle. The fact is that it's a very common need to
> include extra data related to an element. I'd propose a "reldata"
> attribute (short for "related data") be considered as an optional
> attribute on all elements. We then, as developers, could use that
> attribute as we see fit and the document would still validate (for
> people who care about such things).
We recently added data-*="", does that help?
Ian Hickson U+1047E )\._.,--....,'``. fL
http://ln.hixie.ch/ U+263A /, _.. \ _\ ;`._ ,.
Things that are impossible just take longer. `._.-(,_..'--(,_..'`-.;.'
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