Anne van Kesteren


The modules are ready; let’s go MT! Well tomorrow that is and if it goes well, I might as well turn my whole site into a series of lists… (Simply said: loose the divs!)


  1. I guess you saw this one coming, but why would you want to loose the divs? A list is a structural element which implies a collection of the same kind of list items. A complete site hardly qualifies in that way... Or am I missing something?

    Posted by Bas Hamar de la Brethonière at

  2. Interesting idea. I can see treating a blog as a list of days, where each element can contain a list of entries. But you start getting down to matters of semantic taste. I agree that a blog isn't really that "listy"--it is more like running text divided by headers. IMHO.

    But lists would almost completely eliminate the need for class attributes, if you write the CSS right. If comments are subsidiary to an entry, and an entry also contains its own manually-coded list, you'd need at least a [OL class="comments"] qualifier to separate them out.

    The sidebar would logically be a different list, though.

    Posted by Adam Rice at

  3. Don't switch to lists. Blogs entries are generally to disconnected to be considered.. well, connected. Lists imply connection, so I would advise against.

    Posted by Gary F at

  4. Each blog entry is connected by the mere fact that it is a blog entry. A list of blog entries is perfectly acceptable.

    Posted by Scott Johnson at

  5. Currently I use two div elements. 1 for the sidebar and one for all the content. Both have an id. The sidebar should be a complete list IMO. I already tried that offline and it worked in both Mozilla 1.5b and IE6 (well my version of IE that is).

    So the sidebar will be a list. But I still have thought about the content of the page. It does look like a list, but a set of p elements look like a list too :).

    Posted by Anne at

  6. Just brainstorming for a moment:
    You could put blog entries in a definition list, and comments in an ordered list.

    It will be tricky, but not impossible. It probably is worth a try, though.

    Posted by Bas Hamar de la Brethonière at

  7. You could put blog entries in a definition list, and comments in an ordered list.

    I think it makes more sense the other way around: definition list for the comments and a ordered list for the blog entries. Why? Quite simple: a defintion-list may be used for dialogs too (more info: Doug Bowman in 'SimpleQuiz > Part III: Heading and List and HTML 4.01 specification - 10.3 Definition lists: the DL, DT, and DD elements) and the entries are ordered by date.

    Posted by Robbert Broersma at


    Posted by Michael at

  9. I don't think I like this idea. The div element is the right one for the job: to mark structural divisions in the document. Why would you use lists for everything? Just because you can? Tantek gets away with it, but I don't have to like it. Does it produce cleaner code? Does it improve accessability? Semantic structure? I don't see why it would be any better.

    Posted by Ben at

  10. Each blog entry is connected by the mere fact that it is a blog entry. A list of blog entries is perfectly acceptable.

    While I agree with this to an extent, by the same rationale almost anything can be a list.

    Paragraphs? Hell no, I'm having an ordered list of words (and it wouldn't be difficult to make it indistinguishable from a real paragraph).

    You can do this, but that doesn't mean you should. Use paragraphs for sentences, use divs to logically separate content (until SECTION comes along), and use lists for lists of closely related items.

    Posted by Gary F at

  11. I don't like the idea of that "ultrahyperlisting".

    I agree with Ben in this point. We are having various portions of text in a Blog, with headings and paragraphs.
    As for the use of definition lists for dialogues. I think it is used because there is just no other way to mark up dialogues in a clear way. But if this use is 100% correct...hmmm I don't know.
    The same goes for comments. Is it an ordered list? You could say "yes", it is chronological. But in some cases you have comment #10 responding to comment #2, so shouldn't #10 rather be #2.1?

    Posted by Minz Meyer at

  12. Shouldn't #10 be #2.1?

    Yup. It's called "Comment Threading". One of the nice MovableType plugins I use ...

    (To be fair, I don't number my comments; I think a Subject Heading is more flexible and evocative than a mere number.)

    Posted by Jacques Distler at

  13. Found some ways to import entries. I think I will go live this weekend. If everything goes well.

    Posted by Anne at

  14. From the recent Simplebits discussion on lists:

    [Screen readers] treat lists differently from normal text broken up by line breaks. JAWS, for instance, announces that it's an 'unordered list with 5 items'. I imagine other screenreaders will provide similar information.

    Do you really want screen readers to announce all your entries as a list of items?

    Posted by Darin at