A Modest Definition List Proposal
waylan at gmail.com
Tue Apr 13 15:51:13 EDT 2010
On Tue, Apr 13, 2010 at 3:21 PM, Tom Humiston <tom at jumpingrock.net> wrote:
> Found this unsent reply stuffed in my drafts folder...
> On 19 Feb 2009, at 6:48 AM, Michel Fortin wrote:
>> Definition lists are already some sort of specialized niche syntax within
>> Markdown and HTML: useful when you need one, but not something a lot of
>> people care for or even know it exists.
> Definition lists are suitable for many kinds of term/value pairings, and not
> just definitions, but I had no concept of DLs as a flexible and handy
> semantic structure until I learned CSS. CSS encourages one to consider a
> document's *structure* (its HTML elements) as separate from its
> *presentation* (the appearance of those elements).
> I now regularly mark up, say, each workshop in a list as a DT, with its
> details (description, cost, meeting times, contact info) as DDs. Other CSS
> users may prefer to use unordered lists or the like, and sometimes I do,
> Is my use of DL appropriate? According to [Russ Weakley]:
In this respect see the working draft for [html5]. In part is says:
> The dl element represents an association list consisting of zero or more
> name-value groups (a description list).
It's called a "description list"! They're not even called definition
lists any more. In fact, a number of examples on that page would not
fit the "definition" model, but are considered completely appropriate
for a dl.
True, markdown is currently not specifically intended at a html5 tool
(although it could be as valid html4 and valid xhtml are also valid
html5), but given that html5 is to a large extent just a spec
indicating how people and/or browsers are actually doing things, I see
it an an admission that "definition list" was a bad (too restrictive)
name for an otherwise useful feature.
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