# Re: MostlySemanticMarkup

Date: Wed, 28 Mar 2007 13:41:03 -0700



I concurr with most of what you say.

As someone who uses Aural CSS fulltime --- it matters little at
the end of the day if the emphasized text  came through encoded
as <em> or <i> once you have defined the same aural rule for both
elements.

In markup languages like LaTeX the \em had a minor but key
difference with \it --
LaTeX was smart enough to render \em as something distinctive if
it was used within content that was already italicized ---
otherwise \em and \it were equivalent.

I dont believe visual web browsers have made this distinction
anyway, in which case there is no real distinction.

Henri Sivonen writes:
>
> On Mar 28, 2007, at 04:09, Murray Maloney wrote:
>
> > Since then, a lot of people, SGML, HTML, XML and otherwise, have
> > taken up this idea
> > as if it were a religious tenet. It's time to get over yourselves.
> > Sometimes you just want to
> > say that "this text" should be emphasized, preferably as bold or
> > italic or red or blue.
>
> Exactly. Here's what I was thinking when contributing to the principle:
>
> Semanticists tend to frown upon <i>, because they see italics as
> presentation and not as semantics. However, italics are more tightly
> coupled with the content that e.g. the choice of font family. In that
> sense, italics are closer to being part of the content. Moreover,
> most people tend to hit ctrl-i or command-i to italicize a run of
> text instead of wanting to make explicit why they did so (even if
> they are following a guideline from a style guide that says what to
> italicize).
>
> This works great for visual media when italics are available:
> continuous bitmapped screen display, projection and print. On a tty,
> you need to e.g. invert the colors instead, but it isn't probably too
> controversial to suggest that it would be silly to banish italics as
> the primary presentation because ttys don't have italics.
>
> Now, obviously, aural and tactile media do not have italics. However,
> the reality is that most authors author primarily for the visual
> media and understand only it. It has been pointed out on this list
> that AT vendors ignore aural CSS because authors in general are too
> clueless to use it in a useful way. (I don't pretend to be able to
> write genuinely useful aural style sheets myself, either.) Perfection
> may not be attainable and satisficing should be considered instead.
>
> Without having experience with using aural or tactile UAs, I am
> inclined to believe that having an aural or tactile alias for italics
> as the default rendering (e.g. a particular tone of voice for runs of
> text that what would be rendered in italics on the visual media)
> would yield a better net result than trying to badger authors into
> being more semantic or having them dabble with aural parameters whose
> practical user experience effects they don't understand.
>
> If the default presentation of <i> is defined to a satisficing degree
> for different media, media-independence has been achieved, but the
> result is not semantic markup. And it doesn't need to be semantic for
> the sake of semantics themselves.
>
> http://lists.whatwg.org/pipermail/whatwg-whatwg.org/2007-January/
> 009060.html
>
> --
> Henri Sivonen
> hsivonen@iki.fi
> http://hsivonen.iki.fi/
>
>

--
Best Regards,
--raman

Title:  Research Scientist