[whatwg] <comment> element

Jukka K. Korpela jkorpela at cs.tut.fi
Tue Sep 6 09:03:57 PDT 2011

6.9.2011 18:43, Tab Atkins Jr. wrote:

>> If comments are generally "self-contained compositions", what would be an
>> example of a composition that is _not_ self-contained?
> A <section>  of an article, for example.

I see no reason why a section of an article could not be self-contained. 
For example, in any lengthy presentation, there should be an 
introductory part, and it had better be self-contained. So should a 
summary, and quite often many appendix-like parts.

Besides, referring to markup as defined in HTML5 (which is, no matter 
whether you think of it as a living standard or a sequence of drafts, 
something that hasn't been seriously implemented and widely used in this 
respect) is at a wrong category level. The question "what would be an 
example of a composition that is _not_ self-contained" really calls for 
examples of content, no matter what its markup might be.

You seem to think (and the living standard's current manifestation / the 
current draft may well be based on such thinking too) that 
"self-contained" means "not part of any other composition". That's not 
my understanding of "self-contained". Rather, being self-contained means 
that the presentation is complete, not implying some external content or 
requiring the recipient to get part of the information from elsewhere. 
Self-contained presentation is, to me, something that you can read in a 
bus without any Internet connection or books to consult, without 
requiring that have read some specific prerequisites.

Here's what Webster's Encyclopedia Unabridged Dictionary of the English 
Language says about "self-contained": "containing in oneselfor itself 
all that is necessary; independent".

I don't that this message of main is "self-contained", and typical blog 
postings are even clearer examples. My message contains a reference to 
and a quotation from the message being commented on, but it's still very 
far from being self-contained. One needs to know or learn quite a lot 
about the topic area, the specific issue being discussed, and the 
previous discussion to understand this message.

And this applies a bit stronger to, say, comments like "Bullshit!" :-)

Yucca, http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/

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