dent at oofile.com.au
Tue Jun 29 01:14:20 BST 1999
At 15:11 -0400 28/6/99, Paul Prescod wrote:
>There are not many elements that appear in one and only one context.
>Therefore it is necessarily the case that readers must put definitions in
>context "in their heads." When you see the definition for LI in HTML OL,
>you need to keep in your head the fact that that same element type can
>occur in HTML UL.
This is in a document domain. XML has a wider application. I have
absolutely no argument with separate element definitions being
available, just believing that there is a significant scope of
applying XML where contextual definitions will be useful and quite
possibly more usable.
I think we need to be very careful about distinguishing HTML or
similar documents from mapping database tables and other tabular
information (eg: spreadsheets) where users typically have unprefixed
local elements with meaning determined by context.
Your example of LI appearing in OL and UL is interesting because it
opens up a wider typing issue. LI can't appear in a P element and it
doesn't make sense to a user for it to appear there. If OL and UL are
regarded as flavours of "List" then LI appearing in both is valid.
The semantic model of a list, which may be ordered or unordered, maps
onto the syntactic model of the OL or UL container.
My perspective is different from many (most?) people on this list. I
have no SGML background or other document orientation. I combine
database API thinking with a lot of work on UI design, particularly
for naive users. I've been working on user interfaces for databases
for years, mainly on the Mac, and so a lot of my thinking is coloured
by the models I've seen people apply. I've also spent a lot of time
mentoring junior programmers and designing our tool API's for that
Andy Dent BSc MACS AACM, Software Designer, A.D. Software, Western Australia
OOFILE - Database, Reports, Graphs, GUI for c++ on Mac, Unix & Windows
PP2MFC - PowerPlant->MFC portability
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