A List of One.

Discussion in 'HTML' started by =?iso-8859-1?Q?Dav=E9mon?=, Apr 6, 2006.

  1. I keep doing this, and it just seems wrong to me.

    I'll set up a page structure, or a uniform way of grouping things, using a
    list For Example:

    <h1>Fangorn Forest<h1>
    <ol>
    <li>Oak Tree</li>
    <li>Ash Tree </li>
    <li>Beech Tree </li>
    </ol>

    and then...

    <h1>Lothlorien Wood</h1>
    <ol>
    <li>Mallorn Tree</li>
    <ol>


    As you can see, there is only one object in the second list, so it isn't
    really a list, but it's the same type of information as the other list, so
    makes sense to mark it up the same, and it /could/ be a list in the future,
    if someone planted more trees. It seems semantically wrong to have a list
    of one, is there a better solution? or am I just mad?


    --

    Davémon
    http://www.nightsoil.co.uk/
     
    =?iso-8859-1?Q?Dav=E9mon?=, Apr 6, 2006
    #1
    1. Advertising

  2. [ Cross posted to alt.html; F'up set to alt.html ]

    On Thu, 06 Apr 2006 16:32:33 +0200, Barbara de Zoete
    <> wrote:

    > On Thu, 06 Apr 2006 15:14:53 +0200, Davémon <"davémon"@nospam.com> wrote:
    >
    >> <h1>Fangorn Forest<h1>
    >> <ol>
    >> <li>Oak Tree</li>
    >> <li>Ash Tree </li>
    >> <li>Beech Tree </li>
    >> </ol>
    >>
    >> <h1>Lothlorien Wood</h1>
    >> <ol>
    >> <li>Mallorn Tree</li>
    >> <ol>
    >> As you can see, there is only one object in the second list,
    >> so it isn't really a list, but it's the same type of information
    >> as the other list, so makes sense to mark it up the same, and it
    >> /could/ be a list in the future, if someone planted more trees.

    >
    > What you describe, seems to be a list item to me. And you can't use a
    > list item outside a list. But indeed a list of one item seems odd.
    > Couldn't you use:
    >
    > <ul>
    > <li>Fangorn Forest
    > <ol>
    > <li>Oak Tree</li>
    > <li>Ash Tree </li>
    > <li>Beech Tree </li>
    > </ol>
    > </li>
    > <li>Lothlorien Wood
    > <ol start="1">
    > <li>Mallorn Tree</li>
    > </ol>
    > </li>
    > </ul>
    >
    > That way the list item and the one-list-item-list it is part of, is part
    > of a larger, proper list.
    >
    > Additionally you would use css to style the list items of the first
    > level to look like headings (or you could indeed mark them up as
    > headings).


    Davémon,

    Couldn't you have set a proper notice that you crossposted and set a
    follow up to another group than alt.html? And why choose
    alt.design.graphics to follow up to? This is definately a markup issue and
    has nothing to do with adg.
    Had I noticed sooner that you set a follow up, I wouldn't have posted a
    reply or would have removed that upappropriate group altogehter.


    --
    ______PretLetters:
    | weblog | http://www.pretletters.net/weblog/weblog.html |
    | webontwerp | http://www.pretletters.net/html/webontwerp.html |
    |zweefvliegen | http://www.pretletters.net/html/vliegen.html |
     
    Barbara de Zoete, Apr 6, 2006
    #2
    1. Advertising

  3. Barbara de Zoete arranged shapes to form:

    > On Thu, 06 Apr 2006 15:14:53 +0200, Davémon <"davémon"@nospam.com> wrote:
    >
    >> <h1>Fangorn Forest<h1>
    >> <ol>
    >> <li>Oak Tree</li>
    >> <li>Ash Tree </li>
    >> <li>Beech Tree </li>
    >> </ol>
    >>
    >> <h1>Lothlorien Wood</h1>
    >> <ol>
    >> <li>Mallorn Tree</li>
    >> <ol>
    >> As you can see, there is only one object in the second list,
    >> so it isn't really a list, but it's the same type of information
    >> as the other list, so makes sense to mark it up the same, and it
    >> /could/ be a list in the future, if someone planted more trees.

    >
    > What you describe, seems to be a list item to me. And you can't use a list
    > item outside a list. But indeed a list of one item seems odd. Couldn't you
    > use:
    >
    > <ul>
    > <li>Fangorn Forest
    > <ol>
    > <li>Oak Tree</li>
    > <li>Ash Tree </li>
    > <li>Beech Tree </li>
    > </ol>
    > </li>
    > <li>Lothlorien Wood
    > <ol start="1">
    > <li>Mallorn Tree</li>
    > </ol>
    > </li>
    > </ul>
    >
    > That way the list item and the one-list-item-list it is part of, is part
    > of a larger, proper list.
    >


    Hmm. Great idea, but Fangorn and Lothlorien are 2 different documents...

    > Additionally you would use css to style the list items of the first level
    > to look like headings (or you could indeed mark them up as headings).


    OOPS. I accidently set followups to ADG. Sorry, set back to alt.html now.

    one of those days.



    --

    Davémon
    http://www.nightsoil.co.uk/
     
    =?iso-8859-1?Q?Dav=E9mon?=, Apr 6, 2006
    #3
  4. Barbara de Zoete arranged shapes to form:

    >
    > Davémon,
    >
    > Couldn't you have set a proper notice that you crossposted and set a
    > follow up to another group than alt.html? And why choose
    > alt.design.graphics to follow up to? This is definately a markup issue and
    > has nothing to do with adg.
    > Had I noticed sooner that you set a follow up, I wouldn't have posted a
    > reply or would have removed that upappropriate group altogehter.



    Barbara,

    You are correct - it is most definately a mark-up issue, not one of
    presentation. I didn't realise that I'd set follow-up to ADG and I
    sincerely apologise for my own stupidity in doing so, and the confusion
    created.

    Having said that, thank you for your reply.

    --

    Davémon
    http://www.nightsoil.co.uk/
     
    =?iso-8859-1?Q?Dav=E9mon?=, Apr 6, 2006
    #4
  5. =?iso-8859-1?Q?Dav=E9mon?=

    Toby Inkster Guest

    Davémon wrote:

    > As you can see, there is only one object in the second list, so it isn't
    > really a list


    You're entering a world of deep philosophy.

    Is a single piece of paper on a desk a pile of paper? Is a single stamp a
    collection?

    Best to leave such semantic quibbles to professional thinkers and not
    worry about it. Use OL.

    Personally, I think a list with no items is semantically OK, but the HTML
    4.01 DTD disagrees.

    --
    Toby A Inkster BSc (Hons) ARCS
    Contact Me ~ http://tobyinkster.co.uk/contact
     
    Toby Inkster, Apr 6, 2006
    #5
  6. =?iso-8859-1?Q?Dav=E9mon?=

    Neredbojias Guest

    To further the education of mankind, Davémon <"davémon"@nospam.com>
    declaimed:

    > I keep doing this, and it just seems wrong to me.


    Hehehe. You got me just like you got Babs. My "real" reply is in
    alt.design.graphics.

    --
    Neredbojias
    Infinity can have limits.
     
    Neredbojias, Apr 6, 2006
    #6
  7. =?iso-8859-1?Q?Dav=E9mon?=

    dorayme Guest

    In article <jb821o80we6d$>,
    =?iso-8859-1?Q?Dav=E9mon?= <"davémon"@nospam.com> wrote:

    > Barbara,
    >
    > You are correct - it is most definately a mark-up issue, not one of
    > presentation. I didn't realise that I'd set follow-up to ADG and I
    > sincerely apologise for my own stupidity in doing so, and the confusion
    > created.
    >
    > Having said that, thank you for your reply.


    God almighty!

    --
    dorayme
     
    dorayme, Apr 7, 2006
    #7
  8. Toby Inkster arranged shapes to form:

    > Davémon wrote:
    >
    >> As you can see, there is only one object in the second list, so it isn't
    >> really a list

    >
    > You're entering a world of deep philosophy.
    >
    > Is a single piece of paper on a desk a pile of paper? Is a single stamp a
    > collection?
    >


    That's actually really helpful, because it defines the grouping in terms of
    an intention rather than the nature of the grouping itself. I tend to think
    of HTML as simply /describing/ a documents structure (pile), and quite
    rightly, it can be used to categorise it's purpose (collection).

    > Best to leave such semantic quibbles to professional thinkers and not
    > worry about it. Use OL.
    >


    I'll phone Saussure and Chomsky later! I do agree that in practice it
    matters not a jot.

    > Personally, I think a list with no items is semantically OK, but the HTML
    > 4.01 DTD disagrees.


    Lists with no items? That doesn't make any sense to me at all!

    --

    Davémon
    http://www.nightsoil.co.uk/
     
    =?iso-8859-1?Q?Dav=E9mon?=, Apr 7, 2006
    #8
  9. =?iso-8859-1?Q?Dav=E9mon?=

    Toby Inkster Guest

    Davémon wrote:

    > Lists with no items? That doesn't make any sense to me at all!


    The mathematical equivalent for the UL element would be what is called a
    "set".

    A set is a group of numbers/shapes/letters/vectors/whatever. Some examples
    are the set of all positive integers, the set of letters that directly
    follow vowels in the alphabet, and the set of all people called Kevin.

    The set is an abstract concept, and can be dealt with mathematically, in
    many cases without worrying about how many (if any) elements it contains.

    --
    Toby A Inkster BSc (Hons) ARCS
    Contact Me ~ http://tobyinkster.co.uk/contact
     
    Toby Inkster, Apr 7, 2006
    #9
  10. =?iso-8859-1?Q?Dav=E9mon?=

    Ed Mullen Guest

    Toby Inkster wrote:
    > Davémon wrote:
    >
    >> Lists with no items? That doesn't make any sense to me at all!

    >
    > The mathematical equivalent for the UL element would be what is called a
    > "set".
    >
    > A set is a group of numbers/shapes/letters/vectors/whatever. Some examples
    > are the set of all positive integers, the set of letters that directly
    > follow vowels in the alphabet, and the set of all people called Kevin.
    >
    > The set is an abstract concept, and can be dealt with mathematically, in
    > many cases without worrying about how many (if any) elements it contains.
    >

    And in this example based on mathematics, a set can contain null items.
    That is, a set is still a set even if its content is empty.

    So. An HTML construct of:

    <ul>
    </ul>

    may be odd but not necessarily "wrong." such a construct will, of
    course, have ramifications of visual spacing but it won't break anything
    in any other regard.

    Intellectually interesting, not sure it's valuable from a practical
    standpoint.

    --
    Ed Mullen
    http://edmullen.net
    http://mozilla.edmullen.net
    http://abington.edmullen.net
     
    Ed Mullen, Apr 8, 2006
    #10
  11. =?iso-8859-1?Q?Dav=E9mon?=

    dorayme Guest

    In article <5n.co.uk>,
    Toby Inkster <> wrote:

    > Davémon wrote:
    >
    > > Lists with no items? That doesn't make any sense to me at all!

    >
    > The mathematical equivalent for the UL element would be what is called a
    > "set".
    >
    > A set is a group of numbers/shapes/letters/vectors/whatever. Some examples
    > are the set of all positive integers, the set of letters that directly
    > follow vowels in the alphabet, and the set of all people called Kevin.
    >
    > The set is an abstract concept, and can be dealt with mathematically, in
    > many cases without worrying about how many (if any) elements it contains.


    Indeed, a main point here being that a class or set can have no
    members. One can have a building that no one has yet occupied or
    fled from, or a club that has yet to get a member or no longer
    has members. It is thought by some that classes exist
    independently of their members. And so they can exist without
    members at all.

    In a book called Principia Mathematica, written by Bertrand
    Russell, a philosopher, with Alfred North Whitehead, a
    mathematician, there was a serious attempt to reduce mathematics
    to logic. Principal tool of the attempted reduction was the
    logical notion of class. This notion is also used in mathematics,
    maths employing, naturally enough, much logic.

    There are some possibly deep questions peculiar to lists - but I
    can't think of any at the moment.

    But questions about number are quite prevalent in and out of
    philosophy and mathematics:

    In Farewell My Lovely, a Raymond Chandler thriller, Marlow, over
    the phone, says to Moose Malloy, something like, "Have you heard
    of Baxter Wilson Grayle?" and Moose replies "How many people is
    that?"

    --
    dorayme
     
    dorayme, Apr 8, 2006
    #11
  12. Toby Inkster <> wrote:

    > The mathematical equivalent for the UL element would be what is called a
    > "set".


    Since the UL element does not really mean an unordered collection (it would
    not be correct for a browser, or a server, or a proxy to transform
    <ul><li>foo<li>bar</ul> to <ul><li>bar<li>foo</ul>), I would rather say that
    the UL element corresponds to a sequence (ordered list). A sequence does not
    stop being a sequence just because it has no explicitly shown sequence
    numbers.

    > The set is an abstract concept, and can be dealt with mathematically, in
    > many cases without worrying about how many (if any) elements it contains.


    So is the sequence. It's just a design decision in HTML to disallow an empty
    UL element (or, to put it positively, to require that it contain at least one
    LI element.

    In a more logical design, empty lists might be allowed as a placeholder for a
    list, or as a construct that will dynamically be transformed to a non-empty
    list by adding list items. But browsers (and other interested parties) would
    then have to be prepared to handling empty lists meaningfully.

    --
    Yucca, http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/
    Pages about Web authoring: http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/www.html
     
    Jukka K. Korpela, Apr 8, 2006
    #12
  13. Toby Inkster arranged shapes to form:

    > Davémon wrote:
    >
    >> Lists with no items? That doesn't make any sense to me at all!

    >
    > The mathematical equivalent for the UL element would be what is called a
    > "set".
    >
    > A set is a group of numbers/shapes/letters/vectors/whatever. Some examples
    > are the set of all positive integers, the set of letters that directly
    > follow vowels in the alphabet, and the set of all people called Kevin.
    >
    > The set is an abstract concept, and can be dealt with mathematically, in
    > many cases without worrying about how many (if any) elements it contains.


    However, HTML is a language, and I don't think Language and Mathematics are
    directly comparable.

    For example, in maths, two negatives make a positive, wheras in language
    (English at least) two negatives are just emphatically negative. "I don't
    know nothing about it".

    The other difference between the idea of a list and a set, is that lists
    imply an order, even an unordered list <ul> still retains that quality.
    Mathematically [set] that order isn't important, but in terms of language
    [lists], the position of the object in realtion to the other objects
    invariably is.

    If you have either 1 thing, or 0 things, then they can't be sequentially
    related to other things, so therefore not lists. I think... ?

    --

    Davémon
    http://www.nightsoil.co.uk/
     
    =?iso-8859-1?Q?Dav=E9mon?=, Apr 8, 2006
    #13
  14. Jukka K. Korpela arranged shapes to form:

    > Toby Inkster <> wrote:
    >
    >> The mathematical equivalent for the UL element would be what is called a
    >> "set".

    >
    > Since the UL element does not really mean an unordered collection (it would
    > not be correct for a browser, or a server, or a proxy to transform
    > <ul><li>foo<li>bar</ul> to <ul><li>bar<li>foo</ul>), I would rather say that
    > the UL element corresponds to a sequence (ordered list). A sequence does not
    > stop being a sequence just because it has no explicitly shown sequence
    > numbers.
    >
    >> The set is an abstract concept, and can be dealt with mathematically, in
    >> many cases without worrying about how many (if any) elements it contains.

    >
    > So is the sequence. It's just a design decision in HTML to disallow an empty
    > UL element (or, to put it positively, to require that it contain at least one
    > LI element.
    >
    > In a more logical design, empty lists might be allowed as a placeholder for a
    > list, or as a construct that will dynamically be transformed to a non-empty
    > list by adding list items. But browsers (and other interested parties) would
    > then have to be prepared to handling empty lists meaningfully.


    I agree 100% with your rationale, and 0% with the conculsion! MathML might
    well allow empty [set] definitions if they are useful to maths, but the
    idea of empty lists doesn't seem logical at all to language or document
    mark-up.

    --

    Davémon
    http://www.nightsoil.co.uk/
     
    =?iso-8859-1?Q?Dav=E9mon?=, Apr 8, 2006
    #14
  15. dorayme arranged shapes to form:

    > In article <5n.co.uk>,
    > Toby Inkster <> wrote:
    >
    >> Davémon wrote:
    >>
    >>> Lists with no items? That doesn't make any sense to me at all!

    >>
    >> The mathematical equivalent for the UL element would be what is called a
    >> "set".
    >>
    >> A set is a group of numbers/shapes/letters/vectors/whatever. Some examples
    >> are the set of all positive integers, the set of letters that directly
    >> follow vowels in the alphabet, and the set of all people called Kevin.
    >>
    >> The set is an abstract concept, and can be dealt with mathematically, in
    >> many cases without worrying about how many (if any) elements it contains.

    >
    > Indeed, a main point here being that a class or set can have no
    > members. One can have a building that no one has yet occupied or
    > fled from, or a club that has yet to get a member or no longer
    > has members. It is thought by some that classes exist
    > independently of their members. And so they can exist without
    > members at all.
    >


    Of course a building exists without people in it - in exactly the same way
    that "a list of people who are in an empty building" does not. ie. I can go
    and look at the "building", I cannot look at an empty list, I can look at
    the space where that list might appear - but calling that a list is like
    calling an empty lot a building...

    >
    > But questions about number are quite prevalent in and out of
    > philosophy and mathematics:
    >
    > In Farewell My Lovely, a Raymond Chandler thriller, Marlow, over
    > the phone, says to Moose Malloy, something like, "Have you heard
    > of Baxter Wilson Grayle?" and Moose replies "How many people is
    > that?"


    lol!

    Of course, "Have you heard of Baxter, Wilson and Grayle?" would more
    clearly signify multiple entities in the way that "Baxter Wilson Grayle"
    does not. However, there is also the option which is that "Baxter, Wilson &
    Grayle" refer to a collective entity (a firm of solicitors perhaps) and I'm
    quite sure they would have argued for and against "Wilson, Grayle & Baxter"
    and "Grayle, Baxter & Wilson", because being a list, sequence is important.

    --

    Davémon
    http://www.nightsoil.co.uk/
     
    =?iso-8859-1?Q?Dav=E9mon?=, Apr 8, 2006
    #15
  16. =?iso-8859-1?Q?Dav=E9mon?=

    PeterMcC Guest

    Davémon" <"davémon wrote in
    <55yge2pfd8n5$>

    > Toby Inkster arranged shapes to form:
    >
    >> Davémon wrote:
    >>
    >>> Lists with no items? That doesn't make any sense to me at all!

    >>
    >> The mathematical equivalent for the UL element would be what is
    >> called a "set".
    >>
    >> A set is a group of numbers/shapes/letters/vectors/whatever. Some
    >> examples are the set of all positive integers, the set of letters
    >> that directly follow vowels in the alphabet, and the set of all
    >> people called Kevin.
    >>
    >> The set is an abstract concept, and can be dealt with
    >> mathematically, in many cases without worrying about how many (if
    >> any) elements it contains.

    >
    > However, HTML is a language, and I don't think Language and
    > Mathematics are directly comparable.


    In lots of ways, they are.

    > For example, in maths, two negatives make a positive, wheras in
    > language (English at least) two negatives are just emphatically
    > negative. "I don't know nothing about it".


    That's a double negative - it means the positive: if I don't know *nothing*
    about it then I do know *something* about it.

    --
    PeterMcC
    If you feel that any of the above is incorrect,
    inappropriate or offensive in any way,
    please ignore it and accept my apologies.
     
    PeterMcC, Apr 8, 2006
    #16
  17. PeterMcC arranged shapes to form:

    > Davémon" <"davémon wrote in
    > <55yge2pfd8n5$>
    >
    >> Toby Inkster arranged shapes to form:
    >>
    >>> Davémon wrote:
    >>>
    >>>> Lists with no items? That doesn't make any sense to me at all!
    >>>
    >>> The mathematical equivalent for the UL element would be what is
    >>> called a "set".
    >>>
    >>> A set is a group of numbers/shapes/letters/vectors/whatever. Some
    >>> examples are the set of all positive integers, the set of letters
    >>> that directly follow vowels in the alphabet, and the set of all
    >>> people called Kevin.
    >>>
    >>> The set is an abstract concept, and can be dealt with
    >>> mathematically, in many cases without worrying about how many (if
    >>> any) elements it contains.

    >>
    >> However, HTML is a language, and I don't think Language and
    >> Mathematics are directly comparable.

    >
    > In lots of ways, they are.
    >
    >> For example, in maths, two negatives make a positive, wheras in
    >> language (English at least) two negatives are just emphatically
    >> negative. "I don't know nothing about it".

    >
    > That's a double negative - it means the positive: if I don't know *nothing*
    > about it then I do know *something* about it.


    Among the people who use the phrase, double negatives of that kind are
    simply emphatic, and it is /always/ understood and used as such.


    --

    Davémon
    http://www.nightsoil.co.uk/
     
    =?iso-8859-1?Q?Dav=E9mon?=, Apr 8, 2006
    #17
  18. =?iso-8859-1?Q?Dav=E9mon?=

    PeterMcC Guest

    Davémon" <"davémon wrote in
    <>

    > PeterMcC arranged shapes to form:
    >
    >> Davémon" <"davémon wrote in
    >> <55yge2pfd8n5$>
    >>
    >>> Toby Inkster arranged shapes to form:
    >>>
    >>>> Davémon wrote:
    >>>>
    >>>>> Lists with no items? That doesn't make any sense to me at all!
    >>>>
    >>>> The mathematical equivalent for the UL element would be what is
    >>>> called a "set".
    >>>>
    >>>> A set is a group of numbers/shapes/letters/vectors/whatever. Some
    >>>> examples are the set of all positive integers, the set of letters
    >>>> that directly follow vowels in the alphabet, and the set of all
    >>>> people called Kevin.
    >>>>
    >>>> The set is an abstract concept, and can be dealt with
    >>>> mathematically, in many cases without worrying about how many (if
    >>>> any) elements it contains.
    >>>
    >>> However, HTML is a language, and I don't think Language and
    >>> Mathematics are directly comparable.

    >>
    >> In lots of ways, they are.
    >>
    >>> For example, in maths, two negatives make a positive, wheras in
    >>> language (English at least) two negatives are just emphatically
    >>> negative. "I don't know nothing about it".

    >>
    >> That's a double negative - it means the positive: if I don't know
    >> *nothing* about it then I do know *something* about it.

    >
    > Among the people who use the phrase, double negatives of that kind are
    > simply emphatic, and it is /always/ understood and used as such.


    /Always/ might be a bit difficult to maintain, though I'd be unreasonable to
    not allow a little hyperbolic licence :)

    I agree with you entirely about usage, there are countless utterances whose
    understood meaning is not that which is literally signified by the words and
    syntax used.

    We see poorly structured maths, HTML, Perl, etc. that is understood by those
    who produced it - and those who look at it also understand what the writer
    intended to convey.

    The syntax and logic of the declarative "I don't know nothing" is, I think,
    clear in its literal sense.

    Then, what do I know?

    ;)

    --
    PeterMcC
    If you feel that any of the above is incorrect,
    inappropriate or offensive in any way,
    please ignore it and accept my apologies.
     
    PeterMcC, Apr 8, 2006
    #18
  19. =?iso-8859-1?Q?Dav=E9mon?=

    Neredbojias Guest

    To further the education of mankind, Davémon <"davémon"@nospam.com>
    declaimed:

    >> In a more logical design, empty lists might be allowed as a
    >> placeholder for a list, or as a construct that will dynamically be
    >> transformed to a non-empty list by adding list items. But browsers
    >> (and other interested parties) would then have to be prepared to
    >> handling empty lists meaningfully.

    >
    > I agree 100% with your rationale, and 0% with the conculsion! MathML
    > might well allow empty [set] definitions if they are useful to maths,
    > but the idea of empty lists doesn't seem logical at all to language or
    > document mark-up.


    In computer-related languages, the first thing is usually the "0" thing.
    Javascript, for example, numbers the initial item in the images array (-and
    all arrays) "0". It can be argued that a zero item should be an empty item
    but the logical fact is that even an empty item is one part of the set of
    "whatever" selected from all possible parts of the set of "whatever". An
    empty list is conceptually still a list if originally defined so and not
    nothing (-using the double negative in its correct form.)

    --
    Neredbojias
    Infinity can have limits.
     
    Neredbojias, Apr 8, 2006
    #19
  20. PeterMcC arranged shapes to form:

    > Davémon" <"davémon wrote in
    > <>
    >
    >> PeterMcC arranged shapes to form:
    >>
    >>> Davémon" <"davémon wrote in
    >>> <55yge2pfd8n5$>
    >>>
    >>>> Toby Inkster arranged shapes to form:
    >>>>
    >>>>> Davémon wrote:
    >>>>>
    >>>>>> Lists with no items? That doesn't make any sense to me at all!
    >>>>>
    >>>>> The mathematical equivalent for the UL element would be what is
    >>>>> called a "set".
    >>>>>
    >>>>> A set is a group of numbers/shapes/letters/vectors/whatever. Some
    >>>>> examples are the set of all positive integers, the set of letters
    >>>>> that directly follow vowels in the alphabet, and the set of all
    >>>>> people called Kevin.
    >>>>>
    >>>>> The set is an abstract concept, and can be dealt with
    >>>>> mathematically, in many cases without worrying about how many (if
    >>>>> any) elements it contains.
    >>>>
    >>>> However, HTML is a language, and I don't think Language and
    >>>> Mathematics are directly comparable.
    >>>
    >>> In lots of ways, they are.
    >>>
    >>>> For example, in maths, two negatives make a positive, wheras in
    >>>> language (English at least) two negatives are just emphatically
    >>>> negative. "I don't know nothing about it".
    >>>
    >>> That's a double negative - it means the positive: if I don't know
    >>> *nothing* about it then I do know *something* about it.

    >>
    >> Among the people who use the phrase, double negatives of that kind are
    >> simply emphatic, and it is /always/ understood and used as such.

    >
    > /Always/ might be a bit difficult to maintain, though I'd be unreasonable to
    > not allow a little hyperbolic licence :)
    >


    Among the people who use the phrase, always.

    > I agree with you entirely about usage, there are countless utterances whose
    > understood meaning is not that which is literally signified by the words and
    > syntax used.
    >
    > We see poorly structured maths, HTML, Perl, etc. that is understood by those
    > who produced it - and those who look at it also understand what the writer
    > intended to convey.
    >


    That's very true - the encoder and decoder need to have the same
    understanding of the code which is being used.

    With that in mind, syntactically, what does:

    <ul>
    <li>Oak.</li>
    </ul>

    convey to you that

    <p>Oak.</p>

    doesn't?

    > The syntax and logic of the declarative "I don't know nothing" is, I think,
    > clear in its literal sense.
    >


    I agree, but logic and syntax is of no help at all in understanding its
    more common correct figurative use. Is there a similar way to use maths in
    a figurative way? Does context change maths as it does language, so that
    1+1 != 2 somewhere in the universe? That would make them directly
    comparable.

    Hmm. I like the idea of using HTML for presentational purposes as being "a
    figurative use of the language".

    > Then, what do I know?
    >


    I don't know!


    --

    Davémon
    http://www.nightsoil.co.uk/
     
    =?iso-8859-1?Q?Dav=E9mon?=, Apr 8, 2006
    #20
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