[whatwg] <comment> element

Benjamin Hawkes-Lewis bhawkeslewis at googlemail.com
Mon Sep 5 17:34:09 PDT 2011

On Mon, Sep 5, 2011 at 11:21 PM, Shaun Moss <shaun at astromultimedia.com> wrote:
> Sorry that it's difficult for you to think of concise names, but I hardly think <comment> is ambiguous.

Really? So if in the course of a discussion of something else, I make
a comment about something, could I mark that up with <comment>? Or
should comments only be block-level sections relating to an article or
some other bit of content?

In any case, we can't realistically use <comment> thanks to legacy behaviours.

> If you really think that 99.9% of HTML is written using WYSIWYG editors then
> you are clearly not a web developer.

I am a web developer.

I think it's reasonable to say that 0.01% or less of the _content_ on
the web (as opposed to the _code_) is written by non-developers.

The experience of web developers isn't particularly relevant to
majority authorship.

Mostly non-developers are using WYSIWYG editors (e.g. email clients,
WordPress, Google Sites, etc). Less often, they are using non-HTML
markup-like systems like WikiMedia markup and Textile. Rarely, they
are using extremely simple HTML markup directly (mostly limited by
content filters to <b> and <i>).

> 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.

Indeed, but non-developers are mostly not writing templates.

> 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.

The complexity of the spec is one of many reasons why we're not in a
rush to introduce new features that don't solve significant problems.
(I encourage you again to think about what problem you are trying to
solve and what the possible solutions might be.)

> 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?

I think most developers of WYSIWYG editors have looked at HTML specs.
I'd class very few people as "experts" on the specs.

> Every WYSIWYG editor I know of now uses <strong>
> tags for bold and <em> tags for italic. This is technically incorrect

Just because people know what a spec says does not mean the software
they produce will follow it.

> 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.

Indeed. Naturally, these elements don't occur in content authored by
most people.

Benjamin Hawkes-Lewis

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