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Re: Tags to Represent Questions

for

From: Jukka K. Korpela
Date: Jan 10, 2008 7:10AM


Moore, Michael wrote:

> The definition list provides the closest semantically correct method
> of marking up an FAQ list, although if you really want to split hairs
> you may argue the point.

There's no case for splitting hairs. A question is not a term and an
answer is not a definition for a term. If you want to split hairs or
play with semantics, you may claim that the W3C _means_ a description
list or annotated list or sequence of pairs, despite their use of
"definition" and "term".

> Headings are definitely improper semantic markup.

Heading markup is quite adequate for something that is a heading for the
subsequent text. The most important problem for using it for questions
is that a question is often long, longer than a heading should normally
be.

Then again, a long question is an understandability problem, hence an
accessibility problem. The question used as a heading should present the
essence of the question, not every detail and context info. It may be
followed by an explanatory paragraph that expresses the question in more
detail, or such explanations can be given in the answer.

In some cases, table markup could be appropriate. After all, a list of
questions and answers is essentially a two-dimensional structure can be
expressed as a table, with questions in one column and answers in the
other. When the question is marked up as a header cell, TH element, some
user agents may have some special accessibility support via the
association of headers with data. But this approach is in practice
limited by the fact that the questions would need to be fairly short to
make the common visual rendering reasonable, and the answers shouldn't
be too long either. For a list of short technical questions with short
technical answers, this might work, though.

Jukka K. Korpela ("Yucca")
http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/