[uf-discuss] Re: dfn design pattern (proposal)

Brian Suda brian.suda at gmail.com
Tue Aug 21 02:47:06 PDT 2007

On 8/21/07, Edward O'Connor <hober0 at gmail.com> wrote:
> > * Arguments for or against the use of dfn as a container for the title
> >   design pattern: is this semantic abuse or is it simply  stretching
> >   semantics (like the abbr design pattern).
> In the interest of forward-compatibility, I think using dfn/@title is a
> bad idea.
> The HTML 5 draft goes into much more detail about <dfn> then any
> previous HTML version, specifying both how to find the <dfn>'s term, and
> how to find the relevant <dfn> for some use of the term elsewhere in the
> document.

--- i wouldn't worry too much about HTML5. Firstly, it is years away
from completion, and secondly, it also gives us the <time> element


which would be the most semantic element for this pattern. The trouble
is that we are searching for a solution to the issues NOW. If/when
HTML5 is finished in 2010 as planned, how many years before it gets
into browsers, and/or into older text-only browsers like LYNX  or
aural browsers that don't just hook into IE?

The DFN and other proposals are searching for a solution that can be
used forever with HTML4. With HTML5 and other future languages, the
semantics will be defined by new (hopefully better) elements. We can
cross those bridges as we get there.

Thanks for the heads-up on DFN, i have noted it on the dfn-design-pattern page:



brian suda

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