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[Bug 11254] Say outright that <b>, <i>, <s>, <sup>, <sub>, <br>, and maybe others are typographical and not semantic

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Date: Mon, 08 Nov 2010 20:23:30 +0000
To: public-html-bugzilla@w3.org
Message-Id: <E1PFYFW-0004Es-Eu@jessica.w3.org>
http://www.w3.org/Bugs/Public/show_bug.cgi?id=11254

--- Comment #2 from Aryeh Gregor <Simetrical+w3cbug@gmail.com> 2010-11-08 20:23:29 UTC ---
Since Anne and Maciej expressed doubts in #whatwg about my implication that
Unicode is not semantic: Unicode obviously does not express presentation on the
same level as CSS does.  Exact layout of glyphs is entirely up to fonts. 
However, it also specifies a number of things that are completely
presentational, including characters such as line breaks and non-breaking
spaces, and algorithms like the line-breaking algorithm.  Likewise, HTML
includes some aspects that are not semantic but are realistically necessary
anyway, because they're needed somewhere and can't be put in CSS.  It should
not try to pretend they're semantic.

Of course, you can always argue that anything is "semantic" for a sufficiently
broad meaning of "semantic".  For the purposes of HTML, we can say that
"semantic" at least implies media independence, and none of the elements I
mention here are media-independent.  E.g., the correct spoken presentation of
"H<sub>2</sub>O" is "H2O", but the correct spoken presentation of
"&phi;<sub>x</sub>" is probably "phi sub x".  Likewise, if <i> is used for a
dream or thought, it should probably be pronounced differently, but not if it's
used for a ship name.

Some elements are by their nature typographic and not media-independent, and
the spec should acknowledge this fact.

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Received on Monday, 8 November 2010 20:23:32 GMT

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