The only thing is that it’s less succinct (slightly greater editing load) and likely to be forgotten/left out, limiting its usefulness.
From: Gary O'Neall [mailto:gary@...]
I like the idea of an attribute type in the element optional (e.g. <optional type=...). I believe it would allow tools writers as well as humans to distinguish an optional field easily and also allow for the type to be specified.
Basically, <optional> is fine for all the optional sections, and could even be annotated if desired (e.g. <optional type=”footer”>). A potential advantage to specifying the “kind” of optional section, though, is the ability to distinguish matching rules.
For example, the matching rules for a copyright line/section can be stricter because we know its general form, and so when parsing the markup to generate a match directive, <copyright> might be applied differently than, say, <title>. <footer> doesn’t really have this benefit, but if there’s already a convention of identifying the main “chunks”, it makes some aesthetic sense, and this information could even be used to help other use-cases such as formatting for html.
It amounts to, it doesn’t add extra load to maintain, but it does provide a channel of information that could be useful. No reason to throw away information.
<footer>How to apply this license: ….</footer>
May I ask what is the benefit of separating body and footer? I can appreciate that licenses sometimes come without the “How to apply this license” text; if the reason is to allow the footer to be optional, could that be done simply by using <optional>. Note that I do not object to <footer>, just trying to understand if there is a benefit I have missed.