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[Bug 11206] Presentational tag [font,b,u,i] CANNOT be removed for many reasons. Three scenarios very good scenarios: 1. HTML5 Mobile sites with BlackBerry8xxx and 9xxx support 2. HTML5 Emails 3. Legacy content 4. Injected legacy content via iframe/scripts 1) Producin

From: <bugzilla@jessica.w3.org>
Date: Wed, 03 Nov 2010 11:46:59 +0000
To: public-html-bugzilla@w3.org
Message-Id: <E1PDbnv-0000FG-35@jessica.w3.org>
http://www.w3.org/Bugs/Public/show_bug.cgi?id=11206

Tab Atkins Jr. <jackalmage@gmail.com> changed:

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--- Comment #1 from Tab Atkins Jr. <jackalmage@gmail.com> 2010-11-03 11:46:58 UTC ---
(In reply to comment #0)
> Specification: http://dev.w3.org/html5/spec/
> Section: http://www.whatwg.org/specs/web-apps/current-work/#top
> 
> Comment:
> Presentational tag [font,b,u,i] CANNOT be removed for many reasons.
> 
> Three scenarios very good scenarios:
> 1. HTML5 Mobile sites with BlackBerry8xxx and 9xxx support
> 2. HTML5 Emails
> 3. Legacy content
> 4. Injected legacy content via iframe/scripts
> 
> 1) Producing a mobile HTML5 website for iPhone, iPad, Android
> and old BlackBerry 8xxx series.
>
> The old BlackBerry needs presentational tags to work at all,
> it does not support CSS. In some BlackBerry,
> the phone comes out of the box with JavaScript disabled
> and it has been found in testing that when JavaScript is disabled,
> if any support for CSS is also present on that phone,
> the CSS engine is ALSO disabled! (Total non-sense but true)
[snip other stuff about how bad old Blackberry is]

I don't believe it should be the responsibility of HTML (or CSS for that
matter) to attempt to cater to such blatantly broken devices.  Modern
internet-capable devices may be underpowered relative to the desktop, but are
at least sane in their treatment of HTML.  The Blackberry devices you describe
are not. 

> 2. When sending HTML emails to be read on various email clients,
> some will render them without formatting, some will render them
> only with presentational tag and some will also render the CSS.
> 
> So, to have a consistent layout for all of those use cases, presentational tag
> 
> duplicating the CSS styling is required and no ignoring this large portion of
> end-user who do not have CSS capable email clients is NOT an option.

Modern mail readers understand CSS perfectly well.

Text-based email readers should also be able to view your email perfectly well.
 Emails, like webpages, should be usable without CSS, just less pretty.  If
your email requires CSS support to be readable, you are doing it wrong.

The class of mail readers that only understand a somewhat-random set of
presentational HTML and CSS is luckily small and shrinking, and falls into the
same "not sane" class as the old Blackberry devices above.


> 3. Legacy pages or web application that needs to be maintained
> or must "quickly" be improved to have a CSS3/iPhone/Android look.
> 
> In those case, presentational tag will be overridden by CSS 
> on those specific targets.

Legacy pages may not ever be maintained.  That's fine, they'll still render
correctly; they'll just be non-conformant.

We should not allow haste to be a valid excuse for non-conformance.


> Finally, presentational tags are currently working in all browsers,
> I can fully understand the CSS arguments, the problem is that 
> they are often used to work-around either browser bugs 
> or are already used in legacy projects.

They do indeed work in current browsers, and will continue to forever, as there
is significant legacy content using them that will never be updated.  That
doesn't mean they are a good idea, or that we should encourage or allow their
use in new content.

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Received on Wednesday, 3 November 2010 11:47:00 GMT

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