[whatwg] <comment> element

Shaun Moss shaun at astromultimedia.com
Mon Sep 5 15:21:22 PDT 2011

On 2011-09-05 11:13 PM, Benjamin Hawkes-Lewis wrote:
> On Mon, Sep 5, 2011 at 9:55 AM, Shaun Moss<shaun at astromultimedia.com>  wrote:
>> Please explain to me how it makes sense for a comment to stand on its own.
> Works just as well as all those blog posts that are just commentary on
> something someone else has written. (And which often are syndicated as
> comments via pingback.)
In which case they can (and should) be marked up as comments.

>>> To an HTML author, especially a newbie, an article *is* a newspaper article,
>> and this is entirely distinct from a user-submitted comment related to the
>> article. Semantics isn't just for robots, it's for humans, too - a fact that
>> seems to be frequently overlooked.
> This seems a rather Anglophone-centric argument. In any case, it turns
> out to be very hard to come up with concise names that are
> unambiguous. For example,<cite>  has often been misunderstand as
> intended to wrap a quotation rather than a source or title.

Yes, well, forgive me for seeming anglophone-centric, but the fact 
remains that HTML as well as most other programming languages use 
English words, most of the people who use these languages speak English, 
and presumably they expect something to mean what it says. Otherwise we 
should just name our tags <dsfsdas> and <xcvxcv>. Sorry that it's 
difficult for you to think of concise names, but I hardly think 
<comment> is ambiguous.

> That it is hard to name things unambiguously is not necessarily a good
> reason to introduce more names.
>> This may come as a surprise, but 99.9% of HTML authors don't read specs.
> When it comes what to what markup blogs and CMSes should churn out to
> structure the page, this hardly matters. The 99.9% will be generating
> content via WYSIWYG editors, and the results of their labors will be
> dumped into the relevant HTML5 structural elements, as generated by
> code produced by the much smaller segment of authors with marginally
> better spec awareness.

If you really think that 99.9% of HTML is written using WYSIWYG editors 
then you are clearly not a web developer. Yes, some is generated using 
editors, but a considerable amount is not, especially in the world of 
PHP, Perl, Python, Drupal, Joomla, Wordpress, etc., etc. where HTML is 
often embedded in templates, which must be hand-coded. In fact, if your 
belief is prevalent within WHATWG, this is a good indication as to why 
the spec has become more complex instead of simpler.

Regarding WYSIWYG editors in general, do you really think they generate 
perfect markup, and that the developers of these apps and plug-ins are 
experts in the HTML spec? Every WYSIWYG editor I know of now uses 
<strong> tags for bold and <em> tags for italic. This is technically 
incorrect, but what WYSIWYG is going to have one button for "important 
text" and another for "bold text"? In any case, having used dozens of 
such editors, I can tell you that the HTML generated is frequently wrong 
or broken, and it's frequently necessary to switch to source mode to fix 
it. Plus, how many WYSIWYG editors have buttons for <address>, <cite>, 
or even <dl>? If you want to use these elements you have to get your 
hands dirty, even if most of your page structure is generated.


> --
> Benjamin Hawkes-Lewis

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