[xml2rfc] DTD modifications for multi-paragraph lists

elwynd at dial.pipex.com (Elwyn Davies) Wed, 30 August 2006 06:48 UTC

From: "elwynd at dial.pipex.com"
Date: Wed, 30 Aug 2006 06:48:25 +0000
Subject: [xml2rfc] DTD modifications for multi-paragraph lists
In-Reply-To: <200608301312.k7UDCSke012093@bright.research.att.com>
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Message-ID: <44F597DF.70602@dial.pipex.com>
X-Date: Wed Aug 30 06:48:25 2006

Bill Fenner wrote:
> [Belatedly changing the Subject:]
> Elwyn Davies wrote:
>> Julian Reschke wrote:
>>> Bill Fenner schrieb:
>>>>> 2) That being said, people want paragraph breaks in list items. We 
>>>>> really should fix the rfc2629 DTD in some way to allow this, so 
>>>>> people don't have to fall back to ugly hacks such as <vspace> (which 
>>>>> is presentational, not semantical markup).
>>>> I think this is sensible to brainstorm about, since it's something that
>>>> has been asked for a lot.  Something like:
>>>> <!ELEMENT list  (t+|lt+)>
>>>> <!ELEMENT lt    (t|list)+>
>>>> <!ATTLIST lt
>>>>           hangText    %ATEXT;            #IMPLIED>
>>>> Single-paragraph lists could still use <list><t>... for backwards
>>>> compatability, new lists would be formatted with <lt>..</lt> wrappers
>>>> around each item:
>>>> <list><lt><t/><t/></lt><lt><t/></lt></list>?
>>>> (A list should only be allowed to have t+ or lt+, not a mixture,
>>>>  to avoid confusion (always wrap or never wrap))
>>> Sounds good to me.
>>> Best regards, Julian
>> <lt> is a good idea.
>> The (always wrap or never wrap) requirement is less clear to me.
> My intent was to reduce the possibility of confusion of
> what adding a new element would do.  Imagine
> <list>
>  <lt>
>   <t> Lorem ipsum blah blah </t>
>   <t> Fee fie foe fum </t>
>  </lt>
>   <t> I indented this one wrong because I used vi </t>
>   <t> and I expect this to be a new paragraph but it's a new item
>       so I am outraged that xml always does the wrong thing </t>
> </list>
> Perhaps I'm overthinking this problem and the limitation isn't
> appropriate.
No, you aren't overthinking.. there is clearly a trade-off between xml 
trying to keep you on the straight and narrow, and the innate cussedness 
of humans who often prefer to be given enough rope to hang themselves.  
Especially if the straight and narrow is not as natural.

Julian's point that it is easier to implement doesn't make it natural!  
Maybe this is a case for the novice/expert switch - warnings about mixed 
t/lt/list at the same level for novices - self-declared experts allowed 
to mire themselves in shameful inconsistency.


>   Bill