Re: Proposal for XREF element

Joe English (
Tue, 1 Aug 95 19:23:44 EDT (Evan Kirshenbaum) wrote:

> -------
> Within OL elements, LI elements are typically rendered as an
> automatically generated number, with the format (in the future) being
> controlled by style sheets. [...]
> Unfortunately, the author of the document cannot be sure of the format
> that such a number will show up when presented to a user. This
> becomes problematic when the want to refer to a specific item [...]

The proposal is not backwards-compatible with current
implementations. Level 2 browsers will render the example:

> Step <XREF TO="fish.catch"> may take quite a while. The
> <XREF TO="fish.cook" FORM=ordinal> step smells the best.


Step may take quite a while. The step smells the best.

which is clearly not what the author intended.

Also, as you point out, it defeats (or at least
greatly complicates) on-the-fly formatting since
forward references cannot be rendered immediately.

The problem of list item references can currently be
addressed in HTML with <DL> and <DT>, and an HTML
generator can easily supply the item numbers and
reference text.

The proposed <XREF> element would be very useful, but
I do not believe it belongs in HTML (nor does any other
form of automatically-generated cross-reference text,
for that matter. IMO, of course.)

--Joe English