Re: Font-style vs. phrase elements

Warren Steel (
Mon, 20 May 1996 08:44:23 -0500

Message-Id: <>
Date: Mon, 20 May 1996 08:44:23 -0500
From: Warren Steel <>
Subject: Re: Font-style vs. phrase elements

At 07:28 AM 5/19/96 -0400, Ron Newman wrote:
>Any idea why FONT is neither a font element nor a phrase element,
>but instead grouped with "special" ?

   I have no idea, nor do I care.  Nobody has yet explained to me
why this tag is necessary or desirable.  I have already demonstrated
that it results in a net loss in communication over the World Wide
Web.  Any distinctions it is intended to carry are lost on systems
that do *not* recognize it; on those that *do* recognize it, there
are many situations, unforeseen to authors, in which text can become 
irrecoverably illegible or even invisible to a broad range of users.  
If frequently defeats all attempts at seaching and indexing based
on hierarchical headings.  It was designed and implemented as a 
jackleg hack with no concept of standards nor of graceful degradation, 
and its inclusion in the "HTML 3.2" documents is their most glaring 
flaw, no matter what category you put it in.  :[

   It pains me that innocent yet uninformed authors, who set font 
sizes and colors in hopes of emphasizing parts of their message,
can validate their work with a DTD sanctioned by W3C, remaining
blissfully unaware that their cherished work has become invisible
or inaccessible to many users, and unusable by indexers.  If 
there were ever an element which should be at least "deprecated"
with strong warnings for the present, and relegated to style 
sheets for the future, this is it!
  Warren Steel           
  Department of Music           University of Mississippi