Though there are certainly simple lists in which
are more or less indistinguishable, and indeed, many lists in
which both are more or less indistinguishable from a 2-column
table. But there are also many lists in which the separation
between them is more marked. The fact that they overlap
does not mean that they are not different.
For example, there are many lists in which the 'labeling' string
does not appear before the 'item' content, but in the middle of it
or at the end of it
<item>... <label>...</label> ... <label>...</label>...</item>
Your would not want to format these in the same way that you'd
format a standard 'dictionary' type label-item pair.
At the other extreme, there many label-item lists in which
is not an optimal solution because of complexities in the <item>
component, where something like this matches the content best:
On Sat, Jan 26, 2019, at 21:43, Martin Mueller wrote:
> What is the difference, if any, between <item><label/></item and
> <label/></tem/> ? I'm aware of the tradition of the "glossary", but
> from a conceptual perspective a label relates to an item pretty much in
> the same way in which <head> relates to <div>. If that is the case,
> why treat lists differently from divs?
> Somebody could argue that the <label/><item/> structure is more like a
> key:value pair. But there is no constraint on repeated labels. A list
> can have a <head> element that names it, just as the label names the
> item. Wouldn't it be simpler to maintain the same structure recursively?
> This is main, but not entirely, an idle question. I've been wondering
> about the relationship between <head> and <label> and about heads or
> labels in paragraphs. Paragraph heading are quite common in certain
> forms of prose.
> If you recognize a function in which some discursive structure is
> accompanied by shorter element that tells you what it is about, do you
> help or hinder the recognition of that function by having two different
> Martin Mueller
> Professor emeritus of English and Classics
> Northwestern University
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