Re: Font-style vs. phrase elements

Benjamin Franz (snowhare@netimages.com)
Mon, 20 May 1996 09:49:33 -0700 (PDT)


Date: Mon, 20 May 1996 09:49:33 -0700 (PDT)
From: Benjamin Franz <snowhare@netimages.com>
To: Warren Steel <mudws@mail.olemiss.edu>
Cc: rnewman@cybercom.net, www-html@w3.org
Subject: Re: Font-style vs. phrase elements
In-Reply-To: <31A07737.4170@mail.olemiss.edu>
Message-Id: <Pine.LNX.3.92.960520090730.8407B-100000@ns.viet.net>

On Mon, 20 May 1996, Warren Steel wrote:

> 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" ?

Probably because it is actaully used as pure presentation with no regard
for logical levels at all. I have seen many docs with a FONT tag wrapped
around the entire BODY content.

>    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.

 [chop]

Enough.

A) Nothing requires *YOU* to use FONT.

B) s#(<FONT[^>]*>|</FONT>|<BIG>|</BIG>|<SMALL>|</SMALL><i>|</i>|<u>|</u>|<b>|</b>)##ogi;
   will take care of 99.9% of your bitches as far as search engines are
   concerned. Oh - you didn't realize that <b>,<i>,<u>,<big> and <small>
   are used in the exact same 'search engine breaking' fashion as FONT?
   <big><big>Y</big>ou <big>W</big>ill.</big>

C) You are assuming most people use <H?> headers as designed. They don't.
   As far as 99% of page authors are concerned:

   <H1> == <FONT SIZE="+3">
   <H2> == <FONT SIZE="+2">
   <H3> == <FONT SIZE="+1">
   <H4> == <FONT SIZE="+0">
   <H5> == <FONT SIZE="-1">
   <H6> == <FONT SIZE="-2">

The results of indexing pages where <h1>I just want this text really
big</h1> and <h6>This text really small</h6> are....ah..._interesting_. By
*allowing* the authors to seperate <h1>I want this text big</h1> from
<h1>This is the topic</h1>, FONT makes it *possible* for most authors to
actually use <h1> as intended.

Would stylesheets be better? Yup. Can stylesheets be mis-used the same way
as FONT? <p class="bigtext">Since H1 excludes all but physical markup but
&lt;p&gt; allows <strong>other</strong> stuff I might like in my topic
headers...</p> you can bet your bippy stylesheets can be mis-used.
Most authors *don't care* about content models. Or more precisely: most
have *never heard of* content models.

Benjamin Franz