[whatwg] Thoughts on HTML 5 - dialog

Mike Wilson mikewse at hotmail.com
Tue May 13 23:51:42 PDT 2008

Zachary Carter wrote:
> FWIW, in my first encounter with HTML5 <dialog> I assumed it meant a
> dialog box.

Yes, I assumed the same thing. I think it would be better to not use 
such an overloaded term for the stated purpose.

The spec itself uses "dialog" in both meanings:
  3.4.6 ... tabbed dialogs ... (= dialog box)
  3.9.5 dialog element (= conversations)
  4.2   ... showModalDialog (= dialog box)
  4.5.1 Simple dialogs (= dialog boxes)

I think it would be better to choose any other word from the
suggested ones, as I think most of them do not already have
another meaning within the HTML5 spec.
The first paragraph of 3.9.5 gives a hint:
  "The dialog element represents a conversation."
so my first recommendation would be to go for <conversation> and
live with its length.

Many other element names are abbreviated so could also opt for
  <spkdlg> ("spoken dialog")
etc etc.

Ian Hickson wrote:
> I agree that the initial name, if that's all you see, has the 
> opportunity 
> to confuse, but once you read what the element was really 
> for, did the 
> confusion continue to be a problem?

Personally, I guess I can learn the intended meaning of the 
element. But, each time I see the element there is a feeling that 
this is wrong and I have to focus to remember the element's real 
I guess this is what more people are feeling and that this is
why you are getting so much feedback on this fairly simple issue.

Best regards
Mike Wilson

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