[whatwg] Figure Captions

tjeddo tjeddo at gmail.com
Sun Sep 27 13:45:26 PDT 2009

Thank you for the summary. I understand.  It seems unfortunate that
legacy compatibility should have such notable constraints on evolving

On Sun, Sep 27, 2009 at 9:41 AM, Aryeh Gregor <Simetrical+w3c at gmail.com> wrote:
> On Sun, Sep 27, 2009 at 12:13 PM, tjeddo <tjeddo at gmail.com> wrote:
>> Would anyone mind summarizing the design rationale for choosing the 'dt'
>> element as opposed to a 'caption' element when specifying the caption of a
>> figure?
>> Looking through the current draft of the HTML5 spec it appears that the
>> surrounding context of 'dt' element determines how the contents of 'dt' are
>> interpreted (e.g., dl, figure, details).
>> However, from a readability, and I guess aesthetic perspective, a <caption>
>> tag seems like the correct fit here.  A <caption> tag is more explicit in
>> terms of the intended semantics associated with a figure; whereas, <dt>
>> (defined term?) is more abstract (IMO).
> The goals were to 1) use an existing element that 2) existing browsers
> wouldn't mangle too horribly when they found it in an unexpected
> place.  <legend> and <caption> are both effectively unusable outside
> their expected places in several major browsers right now -- they get
> eaten, reparented, or any number of other horrible things.

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