Re: Why "ul"?

Paul Hoffman (
Wed, 8 Mar 1995 19:15:37 -0700

>Forgive this perhaps naive question, but just why is it called an
>"unordered list"?

It's a content description, not a view description. I know it goes back at
least to 1980 with IBM's GML; I assume that it goes back further than that.

Look at it from the content standpoint. An ordered list is a list in which
the items have an implied order. The order can be temporal (do this first,
then do that) or hierarchical (this is most important, followed by that).
An unordered list in one in which the content does not have a temporal or
hierarchical order.

The presentation of ordered lists makes the list items look more ordered
with "1" "2" or "A" "B" lead-ins. The presentation of unordered lists,
unfortunately, doesn't make the list items look more equal. People still
usually associate order in unordered lists by reading top to bottom, or by
looking at the length of the list items. In a more perfect world...

--Paul Hoffman
--Proper Publishing