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

Ian Hickson (
Wed, 17 Dec 1997 21:27:48 -0000

From: Ian Hickson <>
Date: Wed, 17 Dec 1997 21:27:48 -0000
Message-ID: <01bd0b32$9fecab80$LocalHost@hpxu>
Subject: Re: Comments on HTMl 4 draft (9/Nov/1997)

I asked:
>> I am confused as to why TT, I, B, BIG and SMALL are not deprecated
>> while most of the other formatting elements/attributes are. What
>> makes them special?

Neil replied:
>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.
Well, to paraphrase the spec, "their use is discouraged in favour of style
sheets". If you want different from the text then you can use <SPAN
This "draw special attention" goes against the whole point of HTML as a
document markup language, surely? It seems to me that HTML is designed to
get information across *whatever the medium*, while style sheets cope with
what to make it look/sound like. If HTML gets bogged down in media-dependant
presentation hints this entire aim breaks down. For quoting text there is
<Q>, for citing a source there is <CITE>, for the first instance of a word
there is <DFN>, for variables there is <VAR>, etc...
(And in cases where emphasis is meant, then one uses <EM>, emphasis and
<STRONG>, strong emphasis)

>BIG and SMALL seem likely candidates for removal, but logically they
>represent something a little more important, or alittle less
>important, there doesn't appear to be logical markup that does
>this otherwise.

>TT is used again to distinguish text, and is used very often to
>indicate something on the screen.  This one is likely the highest in
>priortiy for things to be removed.
But my point is why isn't it deprecated while <S> and <STRIKE> are? They
fall under the same category and in fact TT has more elements already coping
with "screen output" and similar things! (eg, <CODE>, <KBD>, <SAMP>)

Just my two 0.02 &curren; 's worth...
Ian Hickson
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