This morning I had a short twitter conversation with Bruce Lawson regarding a possibly useful HTML5 tag: the
<unit> tag. This tweet prompted a thought. If
<time> could be better described through the use of an attribute, such as
<time type="datetime"> or similar, then I think there could be room for a
<unit> tag that could be defined by its own attribute.
Ian Hickson, while responding to the whole
<time> tag retraction and re-addition to the spec, proposed additional tags such as
One problem with
<scalar> is that it refers to units only by their magnitude and not direction. If we want to use
<scalar>, we would probably want a
<vector> tag inducted down the road to even it out. Secondly, what does
<scalar> mean to non-math types? Not a whole lot until they find out what the word "scalar" even means. If tags are to describe their contents, why use a cloudy term such as "scalar?"
Here, I feel that
<unit> could mean more to non-math types as well as being more flexible.
<unit> doesn't care about dimension, so points, distance, direction, and volume could all be valid types of units. In fact, it could take the place of
<time> in some cases.
<unit type="minute"> makes sense, or even a more generic
<unit type="time"> would fill that need.
Here are a couple attribute examples that would help better define
... and so on.
I think HTML5 could be better served with a