[whatwg] New attributes would degrade better than new elements
Jukka K. Korpela
jkorpela at cs.tut.fi
Sat Oct 29 06:38:04 PDT 2011
27.10.2011 3:11, Ashley Sheridan wrote:
> Try telling me
> Google isn't aware of HTML5 in web pages and I'll laugh.
OK, I'll try: Google does not care about new HTML5 elements. Do you feel
Can you please now do me, and others, a favor and give some evidence of
actual Google behavior in this respect? If it's something that we need
to be aware of, it should be observable from outside Google, i.e. when
using Google, not just in their internal code that is not public. So
which effects can we observe?
(This would be interesting in its own account, even though it does not
prove that new _elements_ were needed for that. But it would give some
perspective regarding the eagerness to add and promote new elements.)
> - - you shouldn't use attributes to determine the meaning of the
That sounds like a prejudice based on the introduction of many
presentational attributes in HTML 3.2 and their preservation in later
versions. It does not in any way mean that attributes as such are
presentational and not semantic.
HTML5 tries hard to distinguish between <table> indicating tabular data
and <table> being used merely as layout tool - and the distinction is
largely based on the use of attributes in the <table> element and its
descendants. It is certainly wise to keep <table> as dual (tabular data
vs. layout) for compatibility, instead of introducing new elements to
distinguish them - no matter how logical or semantic such an idea might
sound. Using attributes in <div> to indicate navigational areas,
articles, etc., would similarly be useful for compatibility and would be
much clearer and more logical, as the meaning would be uniquely defined
by a single attribute - not by some rather messy rules involving several
elements and attributes.
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