<dl><dd><dt> vs <ul><li> semantics

Sometimes when I inspect the code of more accessible sites.
(And thanks for not disabling right click!! :aparty: ) …

and while being there, I notice that a lot of webmaster choose to define their links via
<dl>'s <dd>'s and <dt>'s

For the n’th time I went to w3schools XHTML table to check out the definition of <dd>

Could anyone share some more light into this? Is <dd> better than <li> for listing navigation (external or internal links)? Or is that semantics wrong?

definition lists define a relationship between a “term” and one or more “descriptions”. in the simplest case, you can nicely code a single parent/child relationship


<dl>
    <dt>Name</dt>
    <dd>Patrick</dd>

    <dt>Occupation</dt>
    <dd>Webmaster</dd>

    <dt>Favourite colour</dt>
    <dd>Black</dd>
</dl>

for things like navigation (particularly if you have something like 2 or three main sections), you can do something like


<dl>
    <dt>Information for Students</dt>
    <dd><a href="..">blah</a></dd>
    <dd><a href="..">blah</a></dd>
    <dd><a href="..">blah</a></dd>
    <dd><a href="..">blah</a></dd>

    <dt>Information for Staff</dt>
    <dd><a href="..">blah</a></dd>
    <dd><a href="..">blah</a></dd>
    <dd><a href="..">blah</a></dd>
    <dd><a href="..">blah</a></dd>

    <dt>Information for Visitors</dt>
    <dd><a href="..">blah</a></dd>
    <dd><a href="..">blah</a></dd>
    <dd><a href="..">blah</a></dd>
    <dd><a href="..">blah</a></dd>
</dl>

which is a bit more compact than something like


<h3>Information for Students</h3>

<ul>
    <li><a href="..">blah</a></li>
    <li><a href="..">blah</a></li>
    <li><a href="..">blah</a></li>
    <li><a href="..">blah</a></li>
</ul>

<h3>Information for Staff</h3>

<ul>
    <li><a href="..">blah</a></li>
    <li><a href="..">blah</a></li>
    <li><a href="..">blah</a></li>
    <li><a href="..">blah</a></li>
</ul>


<h3>Information for Visitors</h3>

<ul>
    <li><a href="..">blah</a></li>
    <li><a href="..">blah</a></li>
    <li><a href="..">blah</a></li>
    <li><a href="..">blah</a></li>
</ul>

See what the HTML4 spec and the upcoming [url=http://whatwg.org/specs/web-apps/current-work/#the-dl]WA1 has to say about DL.