“In terms of accessibility this would be horrific”
… that makes no sense to me, sorry! How is a div or a span “accessible”, or different in even just *one* aspect from a made up tag like “d” ? They contain zero semantics to begin with, any meaning they might have they get from CSS humans make.
Yet I have to admit, I am really hard pressed to find a good use for this, lol. replacing all div’s by d on a normal page results in zero gain, just about anything else I could change would have a more drastic effect. But for example <clr></clr> instead of <div class=”clr”></div> = tempting! Or maybe “cl_” because that doesn’t seem likely to ever become an official tag.
You see, there IS no official tag for clearing, and when you come across class=”clear” in a document, you are not supposed to assume any semantical meaning. So what’s the problem? What is the difference between <div class=”some_class_you_never_heard_of”> and <some_tag_you_never_heard_of> ? Both are semantically void. That is the bottomline.
HTML5 doesn’t have self-closing tags now because “it’s not XML” or something. Great. Instead of simply making certain tags empty, and allowing that short syntax for tags that need to be closed… bleh! Now, I don’t want to be ungrateful, when I read the w3 specs I am often amazed at the detail, my hat truly is off to these people that they can agree on ANYTHING, much less so much useful stuff. But that doesn’t mean everything makes sense to my little head. So as long as I can get away with it, why not make my own website as *I* want it? If it’s unaccessible, the web will cope :P