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Re: ISSUE-144 (conforming-u): Chairs Solicit Proposals

From: Kang-Hao (Kenny) Lu <kennyluck@w3.org>
Date: Thu, 27 Jan 2011 04:45:48 +0900
Message-ID: <4D4079EC.5060002@w3.org>
To: HTML WG <public-html@w3.org>

Sorry for bring up this old and non-technical issue.

> This should be separated out into two separate proposals.
I decided on one of the two suggestions I proposed, that is, make all 
<b>, <i> and <u> non-semantic.[1] That is, <b> = <i> = <u> = <span> 
semantically. I hope this won't be considered non-orthogonal to the 
raised issue as this affects <b> and <i> as well.

The majority of people just sense certain inconsistency about the 
current status of <b>, <i> and <u>, and there are certainly lots of 
other similar proposals, but I might not be motivated to write up any of 
- Redefine <u> as a semantic element.
- Reintroduce <u> as a presentational element or element with no 
semantics in HTML, potentially having the status "obsolete but 
conforming". Do nothing to <b> and <i>.
- If <u> <b> <i> have the class attribute on, they are semantic. 
Otherwise, they are presentational or elements with no semantics.
- bra, bra

The editor claimed that <b> and <i> have solid and common use cases[2]. 
I think this might be a valid point as long as
1. The spec text "..., or some other prose whose typical typographic 
presentation is italicized."[3] is removed from the spec. I can't 
imagine how to translate this part of the spec into a language that 
doesn't use italic type often, say, Chinese or Japanese. Italic type is 
a non-trivial typography effect.
2. There are enough real world visual examples that actually style <b> 
and <i> differently. I would be curious to see how they are styled. Any 

Any comments?

[1] http://www.w3.org/html/wg/wiki/ChangeProposals/BIUArePresentational
[2] http://www.w3.org/Bugs/Public/show_bug.cgi?id=10838#c3
[3] http://www.w3.org/TR/html5/text-level-semantics.html#the-i-element

Received on Wednesday, 26 January 2011 19:45:20 UTC

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