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Subject: RE: [docbook] Dividers and fleurons

What you describe is called a <separator> in XHTML2 [1][2]. One can argue about the merrits of "loose" empty presentational elements [3].

Objections to empty presentational elements in XML stem from a firm belief that all elements *must* be structural and defined in terms of a simple tree graph. Except of course for anchors, and links, and annotations, and floating blocks, and the spawn of the devil: tables. Documents meant for human consumption are not simple tree graphs.

Personally, I have no problem with the definition in XHTML2: "The separator element separates parts of the document from each other." A <separator> is a point that physically divides the context. No containment is implied, it is just a milestone in the progression of the text. Notmuchdifferentfromusingwhitespacebetweenwordstomakereadingamorepleasantexperience.

I'd use <bridgehead renderas="other" otherrenderas="separator"/> (DocBook 5) or <bridgehead role="separator"/>.

Kind regards
Peter Ring

[1] http://www.w3.org/TR/2005/WD-xhtml2-20050527/mod-structural.html#sec_8.9.
[2] http://www.w3.org/2005/Talks/04-19-steven-XHTML2-XForms/
[3] http://lachy.id.au/log/2005/05/separator-elements

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Jukka Aho [mailto:jukka.aho@iki.fi]
> Sent: 30. januar 2007 02:14
> To: docbook@lists.oasis-open.org
> Subject: [docbook] Dividers and fleurons
> In certain types of print publications (say, opinion pieces 
> written by a 
> columnist for a weekly magazine or a newspaper) it is fairly typical 
> that the author may organize his paragraphs into logical sections 
> _without_ using subheadings.
> Instead, we may see a (more or less) graphical divider - 
> often something 
> simple, like these three asterisks, centered on a single line:
> * * *
> (Large round dots - such as U+25CF - or squares are also often seen 
> instead of asterisks.)
> A similar practice can be encountered in books - especially 
> old ones - 
> where flower or leaf motifs (properly called "fleurons") may 
> be used at 
> the end of chapters, or for divisions within a chapter. Here are some 
> fonts which contain such motifs...
>  <http://www.myfonts.com/browse/keyword/fleuron/>
> ...and here's an article which discusses the topic:
>  <http://www.wijnne.com/w/typography.html>
> * * *
> Now, my question becomes: what is the semantically correct way of 
> marking up these kind of logical divisions within a DocBook (XML) 
> document?
> In HTML documents, the closest logical markup equivalent 
> would appear to 
> be <hr> - the horizontal rule - but I could not find anything 
> quite like 
> that in DocBook. The only thing I could come up with was the 
> <bridgehead> element, but I'm a bit undecided about it - is it 
> appropriate to use it that way, or is there a better alternative?
> -- 
> znark 
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