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[Bug 9355] Obsolete presentational markup should be conforming

From: <bugzilla@wiggum.w3.org>
Date: Sun, 28 Mar 2010 02:56:47 +0000
To: public-html-bugzilla@w3.org
Message-Id: <E1NvigB-0001On-VN@wiggum.w3.org>
http://www.w3.org/Bugs/Public/show_bug.cgi?id=9355


Aryeh Gregor <Simetrical+w3cbug@gmail.com> changed:

           What    |Removed                     |Added
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
            Summary|Many, most, or all obsolete |Obsolete presentational
                   |features should be          |markup should be conforming
                   |conforming                  |




--- Comment #2 from Aryeh Gregor <Simetrical+w3cbug@gmail.com>  2010-03-28 02:56:47 ---
After discussing with Maciej on IRC, I changed this bug to only request that
presentational markup be made conforming.  I believe that comment #0 applies
more or less verbatim, if you interpret it as applying only to presentational
markup.

There are three points given to justify the prohibition of presentational
markup:
<http://www.whatwg.org/specs/web-apps/current-work/multipage/introduction.html#presentational-markup>.
 However, all three apply equally well or better to inline style="":

* "The use of presentational elements leads to poorer accessibility": It would
be more correct to say "The use of non-semantic markup leads to poorer
accessibility."  This is absolutely true -- however, it applies just as much to
style="" as to other presentational markup.
* "Higher cost of maintenance": Inline style costs just as much to maintain as
other presentational markup.  Indeed, in some cases it costs a lot more.  A
style=""-based equivalent to <table cellpadding=n> would be much more
cumbersome, since you'd have to add style to every cell.  (<style scoped> is
not yet widely supported, so cannot be used here, but doesn't interact well
with nested tables, etc.)
* "Higher document sizes": style="" is usually longer than equivalent
non-style="" presentational markup.  E.g., compare <u> to <span
style=text-decoration:underline>.

I cannot find any actual reason given in the spec for why nearly all
presentational markup is banned when style="" is not.  I can think of reasons,
like encouraging a uniform/consistent/easier-to-learn language, but they seem
weak compared to the large cost of converting and maintaining documents that
use such markup.  As I argue in comment #0, this will mostly serve to make
validators less useful to authors, and will be a net loss according to the
priority of constituencies.


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Received on Sunday, 28 March 2010 02:56:49 GMT

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