Ordered list syntax.

Már Örlygsson mar at anomy.net
Sat Mar 27 05:25:31 EST 2004

Lou Quillio asked:
> otherwise confines itself to XHTML markup.  If MD must write inline  
> style attributes to get this done, is that gonna fight with linked or  
> style-block declarations in a templated environment?  Might, especially  
> if the author isn't also the template author.

No, style rules contained in style="" attributes override all other CSS
rules, no matter what selector syntax they use. See the chapter on
'Calculating a selector's specificity' in the CSS2.1 specs:

Jelks Cabaniss wrote:
> Bottom line: if Markdown is assuming XHTML 1.0 Strict (or 1.1), it should
> only start list items with 1.  The alernatives would be to 
> 	a.  Assume XHTML 1.0 Transitional
> 	b.  Use inline CSS

Then, Lou Quillio suggested:
>   [c.]  Establish a simple syntax for applying optional class attributes 
> (perhaps referentially), which keeps many doors open without getting in 
> anybody's face.  That done, the MD syntax for lists can be frozen and 
> list customizations left to stylesheet authors.  Which, imo, is where 
> they belong.

As a professional web-designer and  CSS coder, and epecially as someone who
writes to the web a lot, I really dislike option c) as it is prone to error,
as the external stylesheet may get lost/changed somewhere down the line and,
then you'll have quite a bit of trouble figuring out what format each of
your <ol> lists was supposed to be.

IMO, Markdown must output explicit, inline markup for ordered list
properties, because those properties are pure content - not just presentation.

(Thought experiment: You write a paragraph commenting on "item viii)" in
a list, and then your stylesheet designer decides to change the format of 
the list to A,B,C, rendering your comment more or less meaningless.)

I wouldn't hold it against Mr Gruber if he chose alternative a) and assumed
Transitional DTD, but I guess alternative b) would be the least evil of
those three listed above, ugly style="" styntax clutter be damned.

P.S. I strongly think that the W3C made a serious mistake by depricating the
type="" and start="" attributes on <ol> lists. :-(

Már Örlygsson
mailto:mar at anomy.net

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