Re: CLASS attribute (Was: No IMG in FIG)

Mike Batchelor (
Fri, 4 Aug 1995 21:41:26 -0400 (EDT)

Joe English once wrote...
> (Michael Johnson) wrote:
> > Joe English wrote:
> > > (Michael Johnson) wrote:
> > >> I do not think that Dav
> > >> intended CLASS to be used to dynamically define new semantic markup, nor d
> > >> think it would be a good idea to use it for this.
> > >
> > >Actually, that's precisely what CLASS was designed for.
> >
> > Can you provide references that show that this was the designer's intent?
> No. I've looked. Every mention of the "CLASS" attribute I've been able
> to find in any archive only mentions its use as a stylesheet hook.
> (except maybe for
> <URL:>
> which uses <DIV CLASS=APPENDIX> in an example).
> The %cextra; and %pextra; extension parameters were
> present in the 5-Apr-1994 HTML+ DTD and disappeared sometime
> between then and the 9-Feb-1995 HTML 3 draft; the universal
> CLASS attribute was not in that draft.
> I was mistaken: user-defined semantic extensions appear not to have
> been the motivation behind CLASS and it is intended only for
> stylesheet processing.

That may have been the germ for the idea way back when... (it was
originally called the RENDER attribute, I believe). But it has since
evolved into a much more general and useful attribute. I guess the Web
documents just haven't been updated to reflect current ideas about it. If
style sheets were the original idea that prompted the proposal for the
CLASS attribute, then that's why style sheets are so prominent in the
discussion of its use.

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