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Re: CSS & MHonArc markup experiment

On March 5, 2004 at 01:43, Jeff Breidenbach wrote:

> Out of curiosity, I took a uncustomized MHonArc generated message page
> and replaced all the MHonArc markup with HTML <div> tags.  For
> example, turning <!--X-Body-of-Message--> into <div
> id=X-Body-of-Message>

You are mixing two things: Layout markup and what mhonarc needs
to properly edit pages.

The <!--X- ... --> comments are used to delimit the main structural
components of a message page, and are independent of what the
markup is.  Ideally, they should processing instructions, <?...>,
but at the time mhonarc was first developed, browsers did not
support processing instructions, so comments were used.

Now, with the layout resources, you can insert <div> tags where
appropriate to define the CSS layout structure of the page (something
mhonarc does not care about).

If you look at the default resource file that is provided with
mharc, <http://www.mhonarc.org/mharc/doc/file/common.mrc.txt>,
you will see that it puts <div> tags and define class
attributes for other tags to facilitate stylesheet markup,

The mhonarc.org archives use mharc, and the bulk of the visual style is
done via a stylesheet.  I took this approach since for large archives,
modifying a stylesheet is much easier to do than rebuild all archive
pages to make a style change.  I know you have this same issue
with mail-archive.com.

> So... I am looking for comments before I dive further with this
> approach. Does the idea seem generally sound? Is this the general
> trend and might MHonArc someday in the distant future abandon the HTML
> comment based semantic markup of message pages, switching to something
> style sheets can also key off off?

The comments will always be needed since they stay immutable and are
required for doing archive updates (they could change to processing
instructions in the future).  The real question is if the default
layout resource settings should include <div> and/or similiar
style-based structures?  I have considered it in the past, but have
not done anything about it.  For now, individual users will have to
customize the layout resources.


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