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Re: HTML Presentation Elements

From: Liam Quinn <liam@htmlhelp.com>
Date: Tue, 03 Mar 1998 08:55:59 -0500
Message-Id: <3.0.5.32.19980303085559.00a91870@undergrad.math.uwaterloo.ca>
To: w3c-wai-gl@w3.org
At 10:04 AM 03/03/98 +0100, Daniel Dardailler wrote:
>
>> B, BASEFONT, BIG, CENTER, FONT, FRAME, FRAMESET, HR, I, IFRAME, IMG, PRE,
>> S, SMALL, STRIKE, SUB, SUP, TT, U.
>
>I disagree HR is in the set. HR is a structural element to me, which I
>can decorated in CSS and specialize using its class or title.
>
>FRAME stuff is also special, and separated in their own DTD.
>
>IMG ? you mean vs. OBJECT ? It's not presentation, and not even
>deprecated (APPLET is).

I tried to give a complete list of presentational elements, knowing that
some in the list could be used structurally despite their inherent
presentational nature.  HR can be used to mean START-OR-END-OF-SECTION, but
at its basic level it's just a "horizontal rule"--pure presentation.  FRAME
can be used as a weak <LINK REL="some relationship"> element, but frames
were intended from the beginning as a way to carve up a windowed display
and that's how they're used by the vast majority of authors.  I put IMG on
the list since its primary purpose is to provide a graphic; alternate text
for the IMG was clearly an afterthought from the start (unlike OBJECT).

For what it's worth, IMG was my last addition to the list, and the one I
thought about the most.  But when people (and the WAI-GL Working Draft)
recommend ALT text like "XYZ Logo", it becomes clear just how
presentational IMG is.

A lot of presentational elements could have structural purposes if one
looks hard enough.  SMALL makes a good DE-EMPHASIS element.  I sometimes
use the I element, along with an appropriate LANG or CLASS attribute, where
HTML has no suitable structural element.  STRIKE is useful in combination
with DEL since so few browsers support the latter.  In the future these
could be replaced by SPAN or DIV plus style sheets, but there are still a
lot of old browsers out there that can be conveyed some (weak) structural
information through SMALL, I, B, and friends, but that are shut out by
style sheets.

--
Liam Quinn
Web Design Group            Enhanced Designs, Web Site Development
http://www.htmlhelp.com/    http://enhanced-designs.com/
Received on Tuesday, 3 March 1998 08:54:17 GMT

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