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

Re: missing principle

From: Maciej Stachowiak <mjs@apple.com>
Date: Tue, 1 May 2007 14:08:05 -0700
Message-Id: <E40A5EB7-91C4-48D5-A61B-1E1E8C16314D@apple.com>
Cc: "public-html@w3.org" <public-html@w3.org>
To: Philip & Le Khanh <Philip-and-LeKhanh@Royal-Tunbridge-Wells.Org>


On May 1, 2007, at 1:50 PM, Philip & Le Khanh wrote:

> Maciej Stachowiak wrote:
>
> > I notice that you set some of your text in pseudo-italics using the
> > slash convention: "/abused/". Why is that invariably a better way of
> > communicating information than using real italics: "/abused/"?
>
> It is not /invariably/ a better way of communicating the semantics;
> if I were writing HTML, I would write <em>abused</em>; if I
> were writing Plain TeX, I would write "\stress {abused}" (and
> define a macro \stress to handle it); but as I am writing
> e-mail, I use the lowest common denominator : the one
> format that can be read by every e-mail client in the world --
> text/plain.

Every email client in the world can also read multipart/alternative  
containing text/plain and text/html alternatives. The majority will  
choose the text/html alternative, allowing more attractive and  
readable content which can be better understood by accessibility  
tools than ad-hoc ASCII art markup, while the minority of clients  
that can only understand the text/plain alternative will choose that  
one.

Of course, it's also possible for such clients to attempt text-only  
rendering of HTML email in much the same way as Lynx does text-only  
rendering of web sites. In fact, I think at least some text-only  
email clients do this.

Given this, your claim that HTML (a language that you say is "about  
content") is universally wrong for email (a medium that you also say  
is "about content") seems unsupported.

Regards,
Maciej
Received on Tuesday, 1 May 2007 21:08:16 UTC

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