[whatwg] Add 'type' attribute to <mark>

Pentasis pentasis at lavabit.com
Sun Nov 2 01:53:44 PST 2008

>>   * As a style sheet selector (when an author wishes to assign style
>> information to a set of elements).
>>   * For general purpose processing by user agents."
>> The first role is clear, it is used for styles (not semantics)
> Ian answered to this. You'll similarly or identically style elements
> with similar or identical meaning; in other words, you'll attach style
> to semantics, so your class names are likely to markup your document
> with additional semantics.

That is exactly why I think it is wrong. It gives me less flexibility. It 
means I must either style all footnotes (or whatever) the same, or introduce 
more classes/ids to style them differently and in that case I create a 
situation in which some classes are pure semantic and others are only there 
for style reasons and have a less than perfect semantic name 
("footnote-style-1" for example).

>> the second is
>> a bit more muddy I think, but the important part there is: "processing BY
>> user agents". User agents have no interest in semantics, so I fail to see
>> here also why classes may be used to define semantic roles.
> Microformats.

Don't get me wrong, microformats are a good idea, but they lack the 
construct in standards to be used efficiently. They should not use title or 
class attributes. They specify a role and pure semantics and have absolutely 
nothing to do with styling on their own.

>> The fact that a class should be named "footnote" for example is only so 
>> you
>> will not get in trouble (unlike when you use a name like "red" or 
>> "left").
>> But this only tells me (the author) that this element should be styled 
>> like
>> a footnote and for the user agent that it should render it like a 
>> footnote.
>> It should not tell me (or anything else) that it IS a footnote. This 
>> would
>> lead inevitably to inflexibility.
> Why not enclose your footnotes in <aside> elements?

Because it isn't an aside.

> Moreover, a note is not necessarily presented as a "footnote" (i.e.
> moved to the end of the "page"), it can be shown in the margin (as in
> the WHATWG version of the HTML5 spec) or in popup panels when you
> click on a word or "footnote reference" (similarly to definitions in
> the old HTMLHelp on Windows).

Very true, that is exactly what I have been saying. The current spec does 
not take this into account. As it stands now, I must assign a class-name to 
the footnote and then style (and perhaps script) based on that 
class-reference. But it fails to give me a proper element to do this. Like I 
said, I think the Mark element would be great, but then either it should get 
a "role" atribute or the examples given in the spec should give it a more 
flexible meaning.
Footnotes (and the likes) fall in the same catagory as definitions, so why 
not give it an element just like it? (or broaden the meaning of the 


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