[whatwg] Editorial comment r/e summary element
ian at hixie.ch
Tue Sep 20 13:10:48 PDT 2011
On Tue, 20 Sep 2011, Bruce Lawson wrote:
> Fair dames and damsels of the list
> "The summary element represents a summary, caption, or legend for the rest of
> the contents of the summary element's parent details element, if any."
> I read "if any" to mean there may or may not be "a summary, caption or
> However, a questioner to HTML5 Doctor believes that <summary> can be used
> outside <details>, reading "if any" to sugest that there may not be a
> "summary element's parent details element".
> (She wants to use <summary> at the top of an article to summarise its
> contents, because the ambiguous prose I quote suggests that a parent details
> element is optional).
It means that there might not be a <details> parent. The only way this
could happen in a conformance situation is if the <legend> didn't have a
parent at all, which is only possible in unconnected DOM fragments in
> Can we remove this ambiguity? "The summary element represents an
> optional summary, caption, or legend for the rest of the contents of the
> summary element's parent details element" would work.
The summary isn't optional (<summary> is a required child of <details>).
The "if any" style is used all over the spec; I'm not sure how to make it
clearer without dramatically increasing the verbosity, which I would like
to do to avoid drawing attention to aspects of the spec that are of
relatively little practical importance. For example, replacing it with "if
the element has such a parent" changes this minor point from a two-word
side note to a whole sentence fragment taking a quarter of the sentence.
Anyone have any suggestions?
Ian Hickson U+1047E )\._.,--....,'``. fL
http://ln.hixie.ch/ U+263A /, _.. \ _\ ;`._ ,.
Things that are impossible just take longer. `._.-(,_..'--(,_..'`-.;.'
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