Generic LIST Element Proposal

Michael J Hannah (
Mon, 31 Jul 1995 16:34:35 +0700

I wish to propose a wholesale reworking of the list mechanism for HTML
Version 3. With the introduction of style sheets I believe that all the
various types of lists with their separate HTML element names (e.g. OL, UL,
DL, MENU) with their different types of list element names (LI, DT, DD) and
attributes that sometimes apply and sometimes don't is unnecessary. I
believe that the entire list mechanism can be specified more powerfully,
more flexibly, and more simply, by replacing all these list types with a
single generic element (LIST) and using style sheets. My proposal
predefines a few style values for the CLASS attribute for backwards
compatibility with the Version 2 list mechanisms. This single element in
turn would have one definition for a list header (LH), one definition for a
list item (LI), and one definition for a list item header (LIH). Style
sheets could in turn modify the way each of these were presented.

In this e-mail forum Ka-Ping Yee encouraged those who would complain to
construct fully fleshed-out proposals. I have accepted that challenge.
Since the details of such a proposal are extensive, I have posted them on
the Web. This complete proposal, with comments and examples, is posted at:

My hope is to generate discussion on the e-mail list
concerning this proposal. If the discussion is basically favorable I will
reformat the proposal into a separate Internet draft, or offer help to the
IETF HTML working group to make the changes in the current HTML 3 draft to
incorporate this proposal, whichever is more appropriate.

While you are welcome to send comments to me directly, I would urge you to
use the e-mail list as the forum for this discussion.

Michael J. Hannah "Opinions are mine only,
Scientific Computing Systems and will change without notice
Department 13918, Mail Stop 0806 whenever appropriate."

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