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what the voices in my head tell me to write

Friday, August 03, 2007

semantic HTML is hard to do 

I am working on a rather complicated form for a new project at the moment. Its a search form basically but there are a few more options than the google front page. There are all kinds of faceted search features on there which require a lot of form controls.

I have got the basic layout working (in FF at least) using just <fieldset> tags instead of <div> tags. <ul> tags provide lists of form controls and there are <legend> and <label> tags everywhere. Everything is semantic and accessible. I even carefully chose the id and class attributes of the elements to add even more meaning.

Now I have the achieve the layout required. Now I have to add in empty <div> tags to create nice borders and curved corners. Straight away there has to be a compromise and loss of semantic meaning. Ok so a <div> doesn't really have any semantics attached to it but when it wraps other tags there is an implication that it is "superior" to them.

I just cant wait for CSS3 when I can attach images to borders and corners.

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