About Lists in HTML...
= Index DOT Html by Brian Wilson =

Justification | Physical Vs. Virtual Lists
Related Sites
Main Index | Element Tree | Element Index | HTML Support History
Justification for Lists
The list styles available in HTML provide a way to organize groups of information into visually and logically distinct structures. Each list style type provides its own method of data organization and should be rendered differently from the other styles (though this is often not the case.) All of the HTML list structures were introduced in HTML 2.0 when there were not any alternative cataloging methods for content (such as tables.)
Physical Vs. Virtual List Styles
Physical List Styles
[<dl>, <ol>, <ul>]
These styles each have common display properties that will generally stay the same from one browser to another.
Definition List (DL): This list type represents a list of terms and corresponding definitions.
Ordered List (OL): These are lists where the items need to be sorted by sequence or order of importance. The values in the list marking scheme increment with each successive list item using an familiar sequence (usually 1,2,3,... but other sequencing can be used.)
Unordered List (UL): This list type specifies standard symbols to use as non-ordered list markers. For each successive list item, the symbol will remain the same.

Virtual List Styles
[<dir>, <menu>]
These list styles have an intended use, but a distinct and consistent formatting strategy has never been established for their display in most browsers. They are usually displayed as one of the other physical list styles.
Menu List (MENU): This style is used for a list of items typically having one line per item.
Directory List (DIR): This style is used to represent a list of short items.

List Items
[<li>, <dt>, <dd>]
The List styles mentioned above detail the TYPE of information contained, but the List Item markers delineate the separate items within these list structures.

Related Sites
Official References
RFC 1866: The HTML 2.0 specification (plain text)
The web version of the HTML 2.0 (RFC 1866) specification
The HTML 3.2 (Wilbur) recommendation
[Includes all HTML 2 list elements and newer extensions to these elements]
The HTML 4.0 Recommendation
[Includes all 2.0, and 3.2 elements plus many new features]
Netscape Extensions to HTML 2.0
[Details extensions to ordered and unordered list structures]
Internet Explorer Tag reference
[Details list usage as well as 2.0, 3.2 and common extensions]

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