Ernest Cline | 3 Apr 21:22 2003
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[XHTML2] Unicode line and paragraph separators


I can see both pluses and minuses to this but how about using the 
Unicode characters U+2028 LINE SEPARATOR and U+2029 PARAGRAPH SEPARATOR 
either instead of or in addition to the <l> and <p> elements?

What are the pluses?  First of all, such usage could be more compact 
than <p></p> or <l></l> where no attributes are attached, since they 
could be single unicode characters or at worst the decimal entities 
&#8232; and &#8233; respectively. Also both <p> and <l> have to go 
through convolutions in their formal grammar not required of other text 
elements because of the requirement that they not include instances of 
themselves. Replacing <p> and <l> with the seperator characters would 
allow for the grammar to be considerably simplified.

What are the minuses? In those cases where it is desired to have 
attributes attached to a single paragraph or line, or to be able to 
refer to them as a child element for use with CSS or DOM, using <div> 
or <span> would require a a less compact representattion than <p> and 
<l>. Also, to adequately represent paragraph formatting would require 
changes to CSS. At a minimum, some way of managing spacing between 
paragraphs would be needed and a clarification to text-first-indent 
that it should apply to the first line of each paragraph in a block of 
text AND to each line that follows a paragraph separator character. 
(Such changes are why I sent a CC to the www-style list, since CSS is 
in theory not supposed to be only for HTML, such additions would 
probably be a good idea to support styling documents that use the 
paragraph seperator to mark paragraph boundaries, even if the decision 
is made to not make use of them in XHTML.)

If these two characters are adopted, (either as supplements to or as 
(Continue reading)

Masayasu Ishikawa | 3 Apr 21:46 2003
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Re: [XHTML2] Unicode line and paragraph separators


"Ernest Cline" <ernestcline <at> mindspring.com> wrote:

> I can see both pluses and minuses to this but how about using the 
> Unicode characters U+2028 LINE SEPARATOR and U+2029 PARAGRAPH SEPARATOR 
> either instead of or in addition to the <l> and <p> elements?

"Unicode in XML and other Markup Languages" Note classifies those
characters as "characters not suitable for use with markup" [1].
It is quite unlikely that XHTML 2.0 would advocate such usage
against this guideline.

[1] http://www.w3.org/TR/unicode-xml/#Line

Regards,
--

-- 
Masayasu Ishikawa / mimasa <at> w3.org
W3C - World Wide Web Consortium

Ernest Cline | 4 Apr 07:52 2003
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Re: [XHTML2] Unicode line and paragraph separators


On 4 Apr 2003 at 4:46, Masayasu wrote:

> "Ernest Cline" <ernestcline <at> mindspring.com> wrote:
> 
> > I can see both pluses and minuses to this but how about using the 
> > Unicode characters U+2028 LINE SEPARATOR and U+2029 PARAGRAPH SEPARATOR 
> > either instead of or in addition to the <l> and <p> elements?
> 
> "Unicode in XML and other Markup Languages" Note classifies those
> characters as "characters not suitable for use with markup" [1].
> It is quite unlikely that XHTML 2.0 would advocate such usage
> against this guideline.
> 
> [1] http://www.w3.org/TR/unicode-xml/#Line

I wasn't aware of the TR, but having read it, I only agree with it in 
part.  The only reason that these characters are not recommended is 
because of the existance of paragraph and line markup in (X)HTML.  
Clearly the separator characters should not be used in HTML4.01 and 
earlier or for XHTML1.1 and earlier as those standards do not have any 
idea of those characters, as those standards were formed without those 
formatting characters being part of the consideration.  Therefore, a 
large number of existing working implementations would be broken if 
those characters were to become significant as anything more than 
whitespace for those earlier standards.  However, since XHTML2 will be 
starting fresh, any implementation will have to deal with its ways of 
doing things, such as in the current working draft of using <l></l> 
instead of <br/>. Therefore, I do not see this TR as an absolute bar 
against a decision to use the separators instead of <p></p> and <l></l> 
(Continue reading)

Toby A Inkster | 4 Apr 08:29 2003
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Re: [XHTML2] Unicode line and paragraph separators

On Fri, Apr 04, 2003 at 12:52:14AM -0500, Ernest Cline wrote:
| If there 
| were no earlier (X)HTML standards, I think that separator model would 
| be clearly the superior. If XHTML2 was not already engaged in the 
| pruning of existing (X)HTML elements, then markup elements would 
| clearly be the preferred choice. However, the earlier standards do 
| exist and XHTML2 is pruning a significant number of (X)HTML elements, 
| meaning that the choice must be made on another basis.

An argument against it is this. Your &ls; entity would be effectively 
and semantically the same as <br/> which is one of the elements we're 
actively tring to get rid of!

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