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Semantics in HTML via typographic convention

There’s a summary of an interesting discussion regarding semantics in HTML over on fantasai’s blog. Is the HR element only presentational or does it convey something about the content? It does seem to have a semantic role, but one which comes from it being a typographical convention of using a row of asterisks to mark context changes. The interesting bit is what comes after the discussion on HR (and SPAN and DIV); fantasai doesn’t say it explicitly, but Hixie‘s proposed reforms to the HTML standard are in the same vein as with HR — they are clarifying what the element means by referring to what the typographical convention means. Compare the Web Applications 1.0 draft to the XHTML 2.0 draft.


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