Re: B, I (Re: HTML 4.0 draft available)

Scott Matthewman (scottm@danielson.co.uk)
Thu, 10 Jul 1997 12:36:13 +0100


From: scottm@danielson.co.uk (Scott Matthewman)
To: <www-html@w3.org>
Cc: <IDSamson@beauty.hsrc.ac.za>, "Heinrich C. Kuhn" <kuhn@mpg-gv.mpg.de>
Subject: Re: B, I (Re: HTML 4.0 draft available)
Date: Thu, 10 Jul 1997 12:36:13 +0100
Message-ID: <19970710113958335.AAA283@scott.danielson.co.uk>

> > > Similarly, I think B and I should be deprecated. STRONG and EM are
> > > preferable.
> 
> IMHO, <STRONG> and <EM> are NOT preferable to <B> and <I> since <B> and
<I> 
> are easier to type and don't waste space. Some HTML editors automate the 
> process for <B> and <I> but not for <STRONG> or <EM>!

Rejecting changes to HTML because some programs don't conform to the
existing spec shouldn't be an excuse either for change or for retaining the
status quo, IMHO.

> <I>, <B>, and <U> are used in Bibliographic information. Anyone
publishing
> academic research papers and publications on the Internet will know how
> picky academics are about "correct" format.
> 
> By deprecating these tags, the W3C will be annoying most academics, some
> of whose knowledge created the Web in the first place!

Bibliographies are presented in a specific format, i.e. a clearly-defined
presentational _style_. As such, I would have thought that they are prime
candidates for style sheets (IMHO).

Also, the "academic" format for presenting bibliographies can be different
from, say, rules set out in the Chicago Manual of Style, or other
widely-referenced style guides. Accepted styles can also change from
country to country. By classifying elements of a bibliography using style
*classes*, you can convey what the reference is (publication name, page
number, whatever) and the style sheet formats it accordingly. Then changing
the presentation to suit a particular format is might slightly easier...

> I disagree for the same reasons expressed above; except to add it would
be 
> nice to be able to define two or more "styles" for the <DL>,<DT>, and
<DD> 
> tags ... at present, if a document has need for numerous <DL> styles, the

> document must be separated into individual .HTMLs!

Can't the CLASS attribute help with this one?

> > So I'd say: It's not yet time to deprecate <B></B>, and
> > <I></I> should remain an element of HTML.
> 
> Hear here!! as well as <U></u>. They could do well to get rid of <P 
> ALIGN=JUSTIFY> since this tag rarely works at all!

Either B, I and U should *all* be deprecated, or *none* of them should (if
memory serves, this is how this thread got started!). My own personal
opinion is that the spirit of HTML4 tends towards, if not deprecation, then
at the very least severe discouragement.

I *know* that B + I (and to a lesser extent, U) are widely used. If I coded
all my HTML by hand, I'd probably use them myself (the HTML editor I use
inserts STRONG with Ctrl-B and EM with Ctrl-I automatically). But they
don't fit into (my perception of?) the whole HTML4
"content-is-different-from-presentation" ideology.

As regards P ALIGN=..., the align attribute is now deprecated - see
http://www.w3.org/TR/WD-html40/present/graphics.html#adef-align