Anne van Kesteren

W3C uses presentational markup

Because it is Saturday and the internet is boring in the weekends you might be amused by the following. The W3C just released Speech Synthesis Markup Language (SSML) Version 1.0 as a W3C Recommendation. (Indeed, I have mentioned that specification before.) Great news of course, but take a look at the markup used for the acknowledgments:

<p>This document was written with the participation of the following participants in the W3C Voice Browser Working Group <em>(listed in alphabetical order)</em>:</p>

<dd>Paolo Baggia, Loquendo<br />
 Dan Burnett, Nuance<br />
 Dave Burke, Voxpilot<br />
 Jerry Carter, Independent Consultant<br />
 Sasha Caskey, IBM<br />
 Brian Eberman, ScanSoft<br />
 Andrew Hunt, ScanSoft<br />
 Jim Larson, Intel<br />
 Bruce Lucas, IBM<br />
 Scott McGlashan, HP<br />
 T.V. Raman, IBM<br />
 Dave Raggett, W3C/Canon<br />
 Laura Ricotti, Loquendo<br />
 Richard Sproat, ATT<br />
 Luc Van Tichelen, ScanSoft<br />
 Mark Walker, Intel<br />
 Kuansan Wang, Microsoft<br />
 Dave Wood, Microsoft<br />


  1. who said the w3c is so strict with these things? :)

    i think many people who make websites on don't care that much about html semantics.

    Posted by Michael Zeltner at

  2. That's pretty damn terrible.

    Posted by David House at

  3. That is very bad... The use of several br elements is forgivable, but using a definition list with no term and only one definition as a means of indenting content is... amateurish.

    Posted by J. King at

  4. That's pretty horrific. The list should of course be (duh!) a list. OL or UL would do much better than the pseudo-list wrapped in definition list tags. What was the person who made this on? Dandelion?

    Posted by Asbjørn Ulsberg at

  5. Ouch. How could they let that happen? No QA? WYSIWYG tools?

    Posted by Roger Johansson at

  6. They also used <em> for italics... unless they meant to emphasize that they're listed in alphabetical order?

    On the other hand, at least they used a transitional doctype.

    Posted by dolphinling at

  7. Unbelievable!

    Possibly they paste it from another program to get the alphabetical order.

    Maybe they can think about a new orderlist named: alphabetical ordered.

    Posted by Mario De Zutter at

  8. Mario, in that case OL will do. Being too specific isn't good for a generic markup language.

    Posted by Anne at

  9. That's pretty bad. An <ul> would suffice.

    But the W3C? God!

    Posted by Rob Mientjes at

  10. Mario: <ol title="participants in making this document, sorted by surname" class="alphabetically ascending"/> will do. It's good to make a sort of styleguide that includes these class names; I'm about to make one too.

    Posted by Robbert Broersma at

  11. The language being specified appears to be presentational itself.

    Posted by Henri Sivonen at

  12. If anyone should have valid and semantic markup it's the W3C; they should be leading by example... tsk tsk tsk!

    Posted by Blair Millen at

  13. What's new? :-)

    Posted by Charl van Niekerk at

  14. I could respond with any of the following;

    C'mon W3C. You should really...


    Posted by crazybat at