W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-html@w3.org > July 2007

Re: part of my review of 3.12 Phrase elements (<small> small element)

From: Robert Burns <rob@robburns.com>
Date: Thu, 19 Jul 2007 09:02:13 -0500
Message-Id: <ECB63282-5020-4C52-915A-D32EB1BFB39A@robburns.com>
To: HTML WG <public-html@w3.org>
Consider deprecating <small> rather than changing its meaning (or  
introducing a new <small> element with a different meaning). This is  
a name collision if we want to retain the XHTML1 namespace. Since  
compatibility is one of our design principles, we shouldn't break  
compatibility with XHTML1.

Instead of introducing a new <small> element consider adding elements  
such as <copyright>, <subtext>, <disclosure>, <disclaimer> and other  
similar semantically distinct elements. It does not really help  
semantics at all to overload one element with multiple meanings that  
just happened to sometimes share similar visual presentation. All of  
these could have a default rendering of font-size: 0.9em; or  
something like that. Also, for the examples given in the draft, none  
of the meaning  would suffer measurably if they simply carried the  
same styling as the surrounding text. The presentation of these  
semantics is not subject to any solid convention like <em>. <p>, or  
<h1>.

With alternate semantic elements introduced (and since those would  
integrate well in existing UAs), there's really no need to introduce  
a new <small> element as a name collision. The existing  HTML4  
<small> presentational element is much the same as <big> and the  
other presentational elements removed from the author conformance  
criteria. i think <small> could be removed just in the same way as  
<big>.
Received on Thursday, 19 July 2007 14:02:23 GMT

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.2.0+W3C-0.50 : Wednesday, 9 May 2012 00:16:02 GMT