Re: HTML 4.0 draft available

Norman Gray (
Wed, 09 Jul 1997 14:31:10 +0100

Date: Wed, 09 Jul 1997 14:31:10 +0100
To: (Scott Matthewman)
From: Norman Gray <>
Subject: Re: HTML 4.0 draft available
Cc: <>
Message-Id: <>


At 14:09 09/07/97 +0100, Scott Matthewman wrote:
>I can't think of a valid enough reason why TT shouldn't be deprecated,
>since it's a presentational rather than content-based tag.
>Similarly, I think B and I should be deprecated. STRONG and EM are

True, they're preferable when you want to emphasise things, but there are
cases where B and I are still necessary.  The most persuasive cases I've
seen mentioned are for species' formal names in biology, <i>Homo
sapiens</i>, or for foreign words, <i>nota bene</i>.  A weaker example is
when you're quoting a volume number in a bibliography: <cite>Nature</cite>,
<b>100</b>, pp. 20--30.  

In none of these cases are you emphasising anything, and so inserting them
in an EM element would be inaccurate.  In the absence of elements like
SPECIESNAME, or BORROWEDWORD or VOLUME (which we can't reasonably have until
we get XML), there's no unambiguous way of expressing these other than
falling back on long standing typographical convention.

It's more difficult to think of a good reason for TT, but I'm sure there
must be some (legitimate/non-presentational) messages which would be
confused if CODE, for example, weren't in a monospace font.

All the best,

Dr Norman Gray                           
Department of Computer Studies, room M627A               0141 331 3288
Glasgow Caledonian University, G4 0BA, UK