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[whatwg] Semantic use of the <font> element

From: Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>
Date: Tue, 30 Oct 2007 21:23:30 +0000 (UTC)
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.62.0710302121290.15478@hixie.dreamhostps.com>
On Thu, 12 Apr 2007, Nicholas Shanks wrote:
>
> I have a website which discusses typography, web design, and computer 
> fonts. It recently occurred to me that my use of spans with style 
> elements was not really the most semantic method of getting across my 
> meaning, and I would be better using the font element.
> 
> My content goes something like this:
> 
> <span style="font-family:Helvetica">This is a sample of Helvetica</span><br>
> <span style="font-family:Arial">This is a sample of Arial</span>
> 
> Which loses its visual meaning if the CSS is stripped, overridden, or 
> not understood, and further more I cannot supply fallback fonts (since 
> that would create a misleading visual appearance) and so here contradict 
> the CSS guidelines for the font-family property. Would it not be more 
> correct to use:
> 
> <font face="Helvetica">This is a sample of Helvetica</font><br>
> <font face="Arial">This is a sample of Arial</font>
> 
> In this instance I am saying to the browser that the font is the 
> critical part of that run of text, and the fact that <font> doesn't 
> support fall-back works in my favour here, as well as the usage being 
> fully compatible with graphical UAs.

I would argue that HTML is the wrong language for what you're trying to 
do. What you're conveying is intrinsically visual (media-specific) and you 
should use a media-specific format, like PDF.

Indeed, this point was then put forward by a number of people:

On Thu, 12 Apr 2007, Brady J. Frey wrote:
> [...]

On Thu, 12 Apr 2007, David Walbert wrote:
> [...]

On Thu, 12 Apr 2007, gary turner wrote:
> [...]

On Thu, 12 Apr 2007, Bill Mason wrote:
> [...]

On Thu, 12 Apr 2007, Dave Singer wrote:
> [...]

HTH,
-- 
Ian Hickson               U+1047E                )\._.,--....,'``.    fL
http://ln.hixie.ch/       U+263A                /,   _.. \   _\  ;`._ ,.
Things that are impossible just take longer.   `._.-(,_..'--(,_..'`-.;.'
Received on Tuesday, 30 October 2007 14:23:30 UTC

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