Stephen Stagg wrote:
How could you know what style to apply to meaningless content?

That's what the style-sheet is for. We are relying more and more on the display: element of CSS, why not define a well-thought out and extensible set of display types to replace the default behavior of many current tags. Want to include flash on your site? define a CSS rule:

You seem to want to move the semantics from the markup layer to the presentation layer. Do I really need to explain why that is not a good idea?

flashmovie{ display:flash;}

and then your document reads:
<flashmovie src="file://a.c.v/me.swf" />

This shows that you have very little understanding of how the display property works; and probably little understanding of CSS in general. That's already possible with existing css:

flashmovie { content: attr(src); }

In fact, it's already possible with existing markup: <object>. Why do you insist on reinventing the wheel? Are you aware of the reason why <applet> was deprectaed? Obviously not, because you want to introduce a <flashmovie> element.

Hell, even I know what that means :))

You may think you know what it means based on the tag-name, but without any formally defined meaning that can be understood by a UA, <flashmovie> is as meaningless as <foobar>.

Effective styling depends on document semantics

Wrong, I see the point you are trying to make,

No, you clearly do not.

but Styling is totally autonomous, It takes pre-defined rules and applies them to a list of tags, the CSS processor in modern browsers shouldn't care WHAT the semantic content of its tags are.

If there are no semantics, that removes all ability of the UA to do anything useful with the content of the element, beyond rendering it to the screen. Without the semantics of being a heading, how could a UA build a TOC or (like Opera) provide easy keyboard shortcuts/voice commands to navigate from heading to heading. Or what about hyperlinks? Or any other semantic element in HTML. Without semantics, how could Google effectively index your page? How could it determine what the <title> of the document is for displaying in search results?

There are many things that can be done with semantics beyond simple rendering with CSS.

<div class="h">Foo Bar</div>

.h { font-size: large; font-weight: bold; }
Would you agree that that is a bad idea?

No (except the h doesn't provide any clue to the content) , but it seems silly to use a DIV element, which REDUCES semantics, having no meaning to anyone. Rather use, similar to that which you suggest:

        <heading>This Heading Belongs to this Para</heading>
        <content>blah, blah, ....</content>

Your custom <heading> element and <div class="h"> have identical meaning: none at all.

This is not meaningless

In that case, neither is this:

    <c>This Heading Belongs to this Para</c>
    <d>blah, blah, ....</d>

If you disagree, what could a UA do with your markup that it couldn't also do with mine? In fact, both are completely meaningless because both are undefined.

Lachlan Hunt

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