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Re: The web, the noob, and the soup

From: Frank Ellermann <nobody@xyzzy.claranet.de>
Date: Tue, 26 Aug 2008 06:33:45 +0200
To: public-html-comments@w3.org
Message-ID: <g900v0$627$1@ger.gmane.org>

Eduard Pascual wrote:
> I can hardly believe that the <i> and the <b> tags are
> still there

These tags are fine, what is not fine is the missing <tt>.

> the redefinition of these tags (as well as a few others,
> such as <small>) clashes against one of the basic goals
> of HTML5: backwards compatibility.

IMO the "redefinitions" are a dubious figleaf.  It would
be more straight forward to say that they are semantically
duplicates of <em> and <strong>, handled differently only
as far as optional tag-based CSS-decorations mandate it,
i.e. when looking for tags by name in the DOM.

For <tt> pick the least popular similar tag in this zoo
and deprecate it in favour of <tt>, instead of the other
way around.  Candidates could be <kbd> or <samp>.  

> <i>this is italized</i> (which is legitimate and fully
> compliant HTML3.2 and 4.x Transitional), then the <i>
> tag means simply "italics".

NAK.  And <tt>this is not teletype</tt> also does not mean
what is says.  TT means "The real Thing", as seen in code,
keyboard input, a reference manual, samples, boilerplates,
or similar.

<i> is a kind of historical shorthand for <span class="i">
with a strong tendency towards <span class="i em">.

> if legacy documents don't preserve their meaning (or lack
> of it for that matter) when processed as HTML5, then
> backwards compatibility is broken.

That makes no sense, a legacy document is a legacy document,
and if <i> in the legacy DTD means "inverse video blinking"
or what else, then HTML5 cannot change that.

Above all it does not "break" anything.  Of course browsers
should be very careful *what* they pick when their abilities
to display differences are limited.  Eight colour pairs are
an idea, and clearly <i> would get its own colour pair, as
it happens the same as <em>.  Ditto <b> and <strong>.  And
of course <a> and the deprecated <u>.  Add "normal display",
a fifth colour pair for <tt> and <code>, something for <big>
and <h1>, maybe <small> and <h4>, and the last colour pair
can handle <s>, <del>, and <strike> on this minimal device.

Received on Tuesday, 26 August 2008 04:32:18 UTC

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