Re: ACTION re: HTML 3: Too many tags!

Ian Graham (igraham@hprc.utoronto.ca)
Thu, 27 Jul 1995 14:58:37 -0400 (EDT)


Message-Id: <9507271858.AA14218@www10.w3.org>
Subject: Re: ACTION re: HTML 3: Too many tags!
To: joe@trystero.art.com
Date: Thu, 27 Jul 1995 14:58:37 -0400 (EDT)
From: Ian Graham <igraham@hprc.utoronto.ca>
Cc: www-html@w3.org
In-Reply-To: <9507271728.AA19391@trystero.art.com> from "Joe English" at Jul 27, 95 01:31:11 pm


Joe English <joe@art.com> wrote:
> 
> Ian Graham <igraham@hprc.utoronto.ca> wrote:
> 
> > My point is that, when converting legacy documents, there is often *no* 
> > primary meaning -- you only have the physical style. [...]
> > 
> > Therefore this mechanism would require a new element (say FONT, a la 
> > Netscape) that is declared to have no semantic meaning and which would 
> > take an attribute to indicate physical style.  But -- B, I and TT are 
> > already in common use, so those cannot be deprecated and replaced by 
> > FONT. 
> 
> ???
> I'm not sure I follow you.  They couldn't be *removed*,
> but surely they could be *deprecated*, with the suggestion
> that FONT be used instead, no?

I have assumed that deprecation is (hopefully) the 'elemental' road to 
oblivion.  I've also assumed that previously deprecated elements were 
either rarely used (eg. DIR, MENU) and/or had fatal SGML flaws 
(XMP, LISTING? -- were they commonly used -- I do not know).  B,I 
and TT are very heavily used, which led me to believe they would be 
very difficult to steer towards elimination.

Ideally FONT with an attribute would be better, but I just don't think
it is possible to go back and put this right.  And if it is not possible,
then I would not support having two elements (e.g. <FONT STYLE="bold"> and
<B> ) that mean the same thing.

> > [...]
> > This is a nontrivial debate, considering the types of things Netscape has
> > tried to fiddle in with their FONT element.  (I used this name for a 
> > reason!). So, the question becomes -- where does one stop with physical
> > formatting elements? 
> 
> My opinion: add exactly one more element, and then stop.  Any new 
> formatting characteristics should be added as attributes on that 
> element.  (This would have to be a new element because all of
> the existing formatting elements are special-purpose.)

> --Joe English

If deprecating all the other physical elements is acceptable, and workable,
then I heartily agree. I just don't think that it would be acceptable, to 
the user community, to do so.

Ian ............................................. igraham@hprc.utoronto.ca