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Subject: DITA and HTML5

I talked a bit more about it with Don, and this is where my thinking is right now, based on the descriptions of custom elements here:


- our two main alternatives are autonomous custom elements, which we could give custom element names to
- or customized built-in elements, which would retain the name of an existing HTML element plus the "is" attribute giving a custom element name

Example for autonomous custom elements:

- they have easily understandable semantic names
- they look like XML, and can more closely mimic XML specializations

- nothing will happen remotely resembling fallback processing (like rendering these as an ordered list) without a bunch of _javascript_
- for an extended discussion of how sucky this can be, see https://www.w3.org/TR/custom-elements/#custom-elements-autonomous-drawbacks

Example for customized built-in elements
<ol is="simple-steps">
        <li is="simple-step">...</li>

- they process automatically as list items
- they can be registered using _javascript_ as special nodes, for extra behavior, but you only need to identify the delta stuff

- looks less like XML


My clear preference is now for customized built-in elements, given the warnings of the spec against using autonomous custom elements when extending an existing element type.

But the open question for me is whether the "is" attribute can take multiple values. If it can, it could map really cleanly to specializations. Even the requirement for hyphenation in the element name could be a mirror for the "/" in the XML class attribute.

Otherwise we'd be looking again at limiting ourselves to one level of specialization, which may still be on the page anyway - nobody has said they want it yet.

So... does anyone have a contact on the Web Platform Working Group? I couldn't find a simple answer to my question anywhere, including here:

If no one else has a contact I'll poke around IBM.

Michael Priestley, Senior Technical Staff Member (STSM)
Enterprise Content Technology Strategist

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