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Re: Emphasizing STRIKE

From: Leif Halvard Silli <lhs@malform.no>
Date: Sun, 10 Feb 2008 00:56:20 +0100
Message-ID: <47AE3DA4.8000108@malform.no>
To: Philip TAYLOR <Philip-and-LeKhanh@Royal-Tunbridge-Wells.Org>
CC: Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>, HTML WG <public-html@w3.org>

Philip TAYLOR 08-02-09 09.43:
> Ian Hickson wrote:
>> In the spec as it stands today, <b> and <i> are not presentational 
>> and semantic-free. They are in fact defined in a semantic manner, 
>> just like <strong>, <em>, etc.
> Yes, in the /draft/ specification as it stands today [1], your
> assertion is correct.  However <b>, <i> and <u> /are/ purely
> presentational, and the fact that the draft specification
> misrepresents this is a matter of considerable concern and regret.
> I for one will be seeking to ensure that this is corrected in
> a future draft, and that the <b> and <i> elements do not
> appear in the specification when it is finally released.

SPAN, in the spec, also has semantics: It "doesn't mean anything on its 
own, but can be useful when used together with other attributes, e.g. 
class, lang, or dir, or when used in conjunction with the dfn element."

No element "mean anything on its own". But do you want these semantics 
possibilities of <span> removed as well? I ask becuase, the semantics of 
<i>/<b> seems like special cases of <span>. Asuming the <span> definiton 
is OK for you, why the fuss - then - about <i>/<b>? (I take for granted 
that you do not want the usecases proposed for <i>/<b> taken over 
<em><strong>. For instance, the usecase "product names" mentioned for 
<b> - it would be wrong to use <strong> there.)

Then, do you see the proposed semantics for <i>/<b> making HTML too 
complicated? I.e. that authors won't manage to see that <i>/<b> are 
merely som special cases of <span>, but that they instead will mix them 
with <em>/<strong>? In other words: Is your objection based on an 
assumtion about how this will be perceived?

One of the points I want to make is: If people will just replace <b>/<i> 
with <span>, then what are we gaining, semantically?

If removing <b>/<i>

We might also ask: What do we gain from removing <font>? I'll answer 
myself: <font> is less semantic than <span>. Or, actually, <font> has 
the wrong semantics. It has a


  Removing them would of course be a strong signal. It would probably 
make those that don't care about standards care even less. But it would 
also make many that do care think - whatever you want them to do 
instead, they might start to do it - there is a chance.

B) But are you not afraid that <em> and <strong> will be used  wrongly 
if <b> and <i> are removed? For instance, the usecase "product names" 
which is mentioned for <b>. It would be wrong to use <strong> there.

C) I will also ask some questions about <strike>. You and I agree 
completely in that <strike> and <del> are very different. And I also 
think you have understood the point some of us have tried to make about 
how <strike> could be given the semantic interpretation 
"invalid/closed". Then, why are you willing to say goodbye to that 
semantic? As Ben said: SPAN doesn't say anyting. SPAN does not denote 
'invalid' or anything. Why would that be good for AT users to say 
goodbye to that, for instance?
Received on Saturday, 9 February 2008 23:57:26 GMT

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