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The New W3C Paragraphs in Lists Semantics

I peer underneath like most do. Occasionally, you’ll find interesting things. Monkey-wise. A new World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) recommendation's source code offers two:

  • Paragraphs in un-ordered lists.
  • Paragraphs in definition lists.

I’ve seen paragraphs in un-ordered lists but never in definition lists.

HTML 4.01 Specification [W3C Recommendation 24 December 1999], 7 The global structure of an HTML document 7.5.3 Block-level and inline elements offers,

Content model
Generally, block-level elements may contain inline elements and other block-level elements. Generally, inline elements may contain only data and other inline elements. Inherent in this structural distinction is the idea that block elements create “larger” structures than inline elements.

Block-level elements are allowed in block-level elements; that has been established. A <div> is a block-level element which may contain a <p> which is another block-level element. However, what benefits do paragraphs in lists offer?

What Standards Semanticist would do this?

<h3><a name="ddc" id="ddc"/>3.7 Default Delivery Context</h3>

<p>In order to allow content providers to share a consistent view of a default mobile experience the BPWG has defined the Default Delivery Context. This allows providers to create appropriate experiences in the absence of adaptation and provides a baseline experience where adaptation is used. The Default Delivery Context has been determined by the BPWG as being the minimum delivery context specification necessary for a reasonable experience of the Web. It is recognized that devices that do not meet this specification can provide a reasonable experience of other non-Web services.</p>

<p>It is also recognized that this specification is made against the background of demographic, cultural and economic assumptions. Content providers may choose to provide services that demand a different or lower delivery context specification, but should try to provide an experience that exploits the capabilities of the Default Delivery Context in order to provide the best possible experience for that context.</p>

<p>It is stressed that many devices exceed the capabilities defined by the DDC. Content providers are encouraged not to diminish the user experience on those devices by developing only to the DDC specification, and are encouraged to adapt their content, where appropriate, to exploit the capabilities of the actual device.</p>

<p>In summary, the purpose of defining the DDC is to support the following rules:</p>

<ul>

<li>

<p>If an <a href="http://www.w3.org/TR/di-gloss/#def-adaptation">adaptation process</a> is used, then information that is known about the actual Delivery Context should (see <a href="#lcd">5.1.2 Exploit ClientDevice Capabilities</a>) be used to vary the delivered content to make it more suitable for that specific Delivery Context or to provide an enhanced user experience.</p>

</li>

<li>

<p>If the delivered content does not result from an <a href="http://www.w3.org/TR/di-gloss/#def-adaptation">adaptation process</a> - e.g. the content is statically defined as HTML stored in files, or the details of the Delivery Context cannot adequately be determined, then the delivered content should be suitable for the Default Delivery Context and should comply with the Best Practice statements.</p>

</li>

</ul>

<p>The Default Delivery Context is defined as follows:</p>

<dl>

<dt>Usable Screen Width<dt>

<dd>

<p>120 pixels, minimum.</p>

</dd>

<dt>2Markup Language Support<dt>

<dd>

<p>XHTML Basic 1.1 <a href="http://www.w3.org/TR/mobile-bp/#XHTML-Basic">[XHTML-Basic]</a> delivered with content type <code>application/xhtml+xml</code>.</p>

</dd>

<dt>Character Encoding<dt>

<dd>

<p>UTF-8 <a href="http://www.w3.org/TR/mobile-bp/#UTF-8">[UTF-8]</a>.</p>

</dd>

<dt>Image Format Support<dt>

<dd>

<p>JPEG.</p>

<p>GIF 89a.</p>

</dd>

<dt>Maximum Total Page Weight<dt>

<dd>

<p>20 kilobytes.</p>

</dd>

<dt>Colors<dt>

<dd>

<p>256 Colors, minimum.</p>

</dd>

<dt>Style Sheet Support<dt>

<dd>

<p>CSS Level 1 <a href="http://www.w3.org/TR/mobile-bp/#CSS">[CSS]</a>. In addition, CSS Level 2 <a href="http://www.w3.org/TR/mobile-bp/#CSS2">[CSS2]</a> <code>@media</code> rule together with the <code>handheld</code> and <code>all</code> media types (see <a href="http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-CSS2/media.html">CSS 2 Media Types</a>).</p>

</dd>

<dt>HTTP<dt>

<dd>

<p>HTTP/1.0 <a href="http://www.w3.org/TR/mobile-bp/#HTTP1.0">[HTTP1.0]</a> or more recent <a href="http://www.w3.org/TR/mobile-bp/#HTTP1.1">[HTTP1.1]</a>.</p>

</dd>

<dt>Script<dt>

<dd>

<p>No support for client side scripting.</p>

</dd>

</dl>

The above was cited from Mobile Web Best Practices 1.0 Basic Guidelines [W3C Proposed Recommendation 2 November 2006].

And, whereas I have not fully embraced machine-readable semantics, I find the W3C’s precedence of paragraphs in lists to be odd and I cannot fathom reasons for this practice.

They’re mute.


Sean Fraser posted this on November 18, 2006 07:44 AM.

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