# em and strong (Was: Re: kelvSYC's Thoughts on the new XHTML Draft)

From: William F Hammond <hammond@csc.albany.edu>
Date: 12 May 2003 13:23:28 -0400
To: "W3C HTML list" <www-html@w3.org>

Message-ID: <i74r406pv3.fsf_-_@hilbert.math.albany.edu>


...
> > I disagree. In my documents <em><em> has a different meaning from
> <strong>.
...
> > In my style sheets, I generally use:
> > em { font-style: italic }
> > em em { font-style: normal }
>
> This is in keeping with standard typographical practices in print.

Yes!  For example, \emph{} has order 2 effect in LaTeX.

> I'd prefer it if <strong> isn't trashed, but if it is, I'll learn to live
> without it.

_<em>_ and *<strong>* are usefully different inside xterms (or vt100s)
with user agents such as "lynx" or "w3m".  In my opinion <em> should
be understood to have order 2 meaning at the level of content, while
<strong> should not be a legal child of <strong>.  Because such
content exclusions are not possible in XML DTDs, I think that the
XHTML specification should characterize <strong> at the content level
as idempotent.

(Alas, I don't know any present UA that handles <em> as having order 2
without the intervention of CSS.)

-- Bill

Received on Monday, 12 May 2003 13:23:31 UTC

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