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FW: web standards project article

From: Richard Ishida <ishida@w3.org>
Date: Mon, 16 Jan 2006 14:00:50 -0000
To: "GEO" <public-i18n-geo@w3.org>
Message-Id: <20060116140049.B2DD24F2EF@homer.w3.org>

I had an action from last week's telecon to locate this email about the
separation of presentation and content.


Richard Ishida
Internationalization Lead
W3C (World Wide Web Consortium)


-----Original Message-----
From: public-evangelist-request@w3.org
[mailto:public-evangelist-request@w3.org] On Behalf Of Richard Ishida
Sent: 28 October 2004 14:38
To: 'Stephanie Troeth'; public-evangelist@w3.org
Subject: RE: web standards project article

Separation of structure and presentation is also important for
internationalization, since presentational aspects don't always carry over
from one script to another - eg. italicisation and bolding are problematic
for Japanese and Chinese in small font sizes, because their characters are
so complicated; monospaced fonts don't work well with scripts like Arabic;
Asian text may express emphasis by using a dot above each character, and
German via inter-character spacing - all things we don't thing about when
writing English. If the information is expressed in semantic terms, and a
style sheet is used, it is *much* easier (and therefore much less costly) to
consistently apply the appropriately different styling during translation
(plus, there is more choice).

By the way, widening this out to include XML, most of us realise that using
<b> and <i> for emphasis in XML is a bad thing, but I've seen developers who
without a thought went on to use <emph type="bold"> or <emph type="italic">
instead of <emph type="normal"> and <emph type="strong">, or some such. Of
course, similar things can be done with classes in HTML.

Note also that use of a semantic-oriented approach will have the additional
benefit of providing more discipline and reason in the way authors use and
apply emphasis and style formatting related to document conventions, because
they need to ask themselves *why* they are wanting to distinguish a
particular part of the text. It also promotes consistency. If a stylesheet
is used it will systematically apply the same presentation to the same types
of information.

(For more on this wrt XML, see


Richard Ishida

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Received on Monday, 16 January 2006 14:01:00 UTC

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