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Re: MostlySemanticMarkup

From: T.V Raman <raman@google.com>
Date: Wed, 28 Mar 2007 13:41:03 -0700
Message-ID: <17930.53983.678907.811959@retriever.corp.google.com>
To: hsivonen@iki.fi
Cc: murray@muzmo.com, public-html@w3.org


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.
 > 
 > See also:
 > http://lists.whatwg.org/pipermail/whatwg-whatwg.org/2007-January/ 
 > 009060.html
 > 
 > -- 
 > Henri Sivonen
 > hsivonen@iki.fi
 > http://hsivonen.iki.fi/
 > 
 > 

-- 
Best Regards,
--raman

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Received on Wednesday, 28 March 2007 20:41:43 GMT

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