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[Bug 12178] New: Simplify/Remove the semantics of <b> and <i> or the description of it

From: <bugzilla@jessica.w3.org>
Date: Thu, 24 Feb 2011 23:33:59 +0000
To: public-html@w3.org
Message-ID: <bug-12178-2495@http.www.w3.org/Bugs/Public/>
http://www.w3.org/Bugs/Public/show_bug.cgi?id=12178

           Summary: Simplify/Remove the semantics of <b> and <i> or the
                    description of it
           Product: HTML WG
           Version: unspecified
          Platform: PC
        OS/Version: All
            Status: NEW
          Severity: normal
          Priority: P2
         Component: HTML5 spec (editor: Ian Hickson)
        AssignedTo: ian@hixie.ch
        ReportedBy: kennyluck@w3.org
         QAContact: public-html-bugzilla@w3.org
                CC: mike@w3.org, public-html-wg-issue-tracking@w3.org,
                    public-html@w3.org


== Problems ==

The current definition of <b> and <i> uses the term "typical typographic
presentation" which makes <b> and <i> look like presentational elements and
violates the design principle of HTML5. For example, there is no italics in a
typical CJK environment and the word "typical" is ambiguous. Typical in a given
set of documents? Typical in part of the world? Also, the paragraph of the
description of a phrasing element should be a clean definition of its
semantics, and it should avoid mentioning use cases that don't exist globally.

The current definition allows multiple interpretations:

<b>
- Keywords
- Keywords + Text offset
- Text offset - strong
- Text offset
- Text offset that is typically boldened (what does typical mean here?)

<i>
- Alternative voice/sound
- Alternative voice/sound + Text offset 
- Text offset - emphasis
- Text offset that is typically italics

as compared to

<small>
- side comments

It would be nice to know what the original intention was.

== Suggestion 1 ==

Assuming the original intention was <b> = "keywords + text offset" and <i> =
"alternative voice/sound + text offset", the 4.6.27 Usage summary should be
corrected as such ("keywords and text offset" and "alternative voice and text
offset) so that it won't give the author the impression that the pivot use
cases are the main use cases.

I suggest we replace

 # The i element represents a span of text in an alternate voice or mood, or
 # otherwise offset from the normal prose, such as a taxonomic designation, a
 # technical term, an idiomatic phrase from another language, a thought, a ship
 # name, or some other prose whose typical typographic presentation is 
 # italicized.

with 

 | The i element represents a span of text in an alternate voice or mood, or
 | otherwise offset from the normal prose. The i element should be used as a 
 | last resort.

and a note or second paragraph

 | Note: As browsers are suggested to rendered the i element as italicized text
 | , the use cases include ...

similarly replace

 # The b element represents a span of text to be stylistically offset from the 
 # normal prose without conveying any extra importance, such as key words in a 
 # document abstract, product names in a review, or other spans of text whose 
 # typical typographic presentation is boldened.

with

 | The b element represents keywords, or otherwise offset from the normal
prose.
 | The b element should be used as a last resort.

and a similar note.

I suppose mentioning b/i as last resort elements as early as possible would
meet the original intention of making HTML5 a semantic language.

== Suggestion 2 ==

<b> = "keywords" and <i> = "alternative voice/sound". Remove messy and
inconsistent fig leaf.

== Suggestion 3 ==

<b> = "text offset" and <i> = "text offset". So, 

 | The i element represents an offset from the normal prose. The i element
 | should be used as a last resort.

and the note.

This is my personal preference.

== Suggestion 4 ==

<b> = <i> = <span> = Representing nothing

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Received on Thursday, 24 February 2011 23:34:00 UTC

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