Re: Comments on HTMl 4 draft (9/Nov/1997)

=?ISO-8859-1?Q?Jukka_K=F6rpel=E4?= (
Wed, 17 Dec 1997 01:32:38 +0200 (EET)

Date: Wed, 17 Dec 1997 01:32:38 +0200 (EET)
From: =?ISO-8859-1?Q?Jukka_K=F6rpel=E4?= <>
In-Reply-To: <>
Message-ID: <>
Subject: Re: Comments on HTMl 4 draft (9/Nov/1997)

On Tue, 16 Dec 1997, Sue Jordan wrote:

> Neil St.Laurent wrote:
> ...
> > B and I seem so natural and so often used to get rid of them would be
> > dangerous.  Italics / Bold isn't always meant to draw special
> > attention, or to put emphasis on, but often meant to just be
> > different from the other text.
> Why not deprecate all of them? (read: relegate to CSS where
> they belong)

Because CSS gives, at best, a suggestion about a possible rendering
for some browsing situations. 

My favorite examples have been the use of the I element for taxonomic
names, like "<I>Homo sapiens</I> L.", and for words used to refer to words
themselves, not to those things to which they normally refers, as in
"the plural of <I>ox</I> is <I>oxen</I>". They are not _essentially_
presentational but structural. Using italics is definitely the
_preferable_ presentation due to common practice of doing so in printed

So a revised specification of HTML should first give us structured ways
of expressing such things before it could deprecate the I element.

Please notice that things like structured markup for things like the one
in my second example will soon gain importance. It's not just a matter
of presentation. For instance, automatic translation systems should
of course leave the words "ox" and "oxen" untranslated when translating
a grammar on English from English to German. Neither <I> nor any style
sheet helps here, of course. Authors need structured markup for such

> Seems to me that would further the laudable goal of
> separation of 
> presentation from structure.

The goal is noble, but we need structured markup before we can
deprecate the old stupid way of doing things.