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From "Henri Yandell" <>
Subject Re: old style html in javadoc Was: [jira] Commented: (IO-86) Add FileFinder back into Commons IO
Date Mon, 24 Jul 2006 04:30:11 GMT
On 7/23/06, Stephen Colebourne <> wrote:
> The concept that XML (XHTML in this case) is human readable is highly dubious, and has
> become accepted wisdom far too easily.

Agreed, a .properties file is far more readable but that's not in
question here. Bad HTML is less readable than good HTML because the
eye is used to precompiling what's being typed.

>  The first point is that it isn't 'bad' HTML, its just normal HTML. Every HTML tool going
has to be
> able to cope with this sort of layout so any tool arguments fail pretty quickly.

I don't agree - it was bad HTML in the mid 90s and it's bad HTML now.
A decade of misuse doesn't make it right.

>  So it comes down to readability, which is much more of a stylistic choice. Personally,
I strive to
> avoid unecessary clutter, only including unecessary things (eg. additionl brackets) if
I judge it
> aids understanding.


>  Here, the end paragraphs tell a human nothing, and the start paragraphs get in the way
> (delaying the eye from reaching the first meaningful word).

They tell the reader it's a paragraph.

>  In the end, this is about human interaction with that piece of text (in any editor including
> And HCI would suggest getting the eye to the most meaningful piece of information (the
> text, not the tag) quickly. ie. remove the unecessary clutter.
> And its not a break tag, its a paragraph tag. That really would be breaking the HTML

Again - I don't agree :)

It's a break tag. A paragraph has been a containing concept since HTML
2.0 (1995) - that's how long this has been bad HTML. <p> on its own
hasn't had a meaning since HTML 1.0 (1991->1993).


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