[whatwg] Thoughts on HTML 5 - dialog

Scott Hess shess at google.com
Wed May 14 11:48:39 PDT 2008

On Wed, May 14, 2008 at 11:37 AM, fantasai
<fantasai.lists at inkedblade.net> wrote:
> Ian Hickson wrote:
>> On Tue, 13 May 2008, Zachary Carter wrote:
>>> FWIW, in my first encounter with HTML5 <dialog> I assumed it meant a
>>> dialog box. This might be due to my experience with the <dialog> element in
>>> XUL[1], which is used for that. Also, dialog boxes are generally more common
>>> from my browsing experience, so I hadn't considered the alternative usage at
>>> first.
>> 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?
> Of course most people using these elements won't be reading the spec.
> It is quite likely that someone will assume <dialog> is the "correct"
> tag to use for a CSS+JS dialog box.

They are reasonably unlikely to ship a web page that assumes that, though.

People who don't read specs generally build web pages by copying and
pasting from other web pages.  They don't just think up random things
they'd like to see and try them out to see if they work.  So people
looking for a dialog box are going to be looking for an example with a
dialog box, which will _not_ reference the <dialog> element, so they
won't be particularly confused.  People looking for an example of how
to express back-and-forth dialogue will find a web page which does so,
which does use the <dialog> element, and they will also not be
confused.  Or at least they won't be materially more or less confused
than they would be if the tag was <al> or something (al for
"alternating list").


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