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Re: Comments on XHTML 2.0 Working Draft

From: Jonny Axelsson <jax@opera.no>
Date: Wed, 07 Aug 2002 14:10:38 +0200
To: www-html@w3.org
Message-Id: <DAVQ6JETS8463UQGBS0MKFSO7ZU.3d510e3e@defnit>

07.08.02 13:38:58, Mark Gallagher <mark@cyberfuddle.com> wrote:

><b> is, AIUI, an artifact of the 3.x days, when everyone seemed to 
>forget the difference between style and structure.  <strong> is "strong 
>emphasis", whereas <b> is "bold".  They are equivalent only in visual 
>terms, and even then only roughly (you can style <strong> in any way as 
>to make it stand out more/less, but styling <b> to be, for example, not 
>bold, would be pretty silly).

My point is that 

Styling b to be not bold need not be that silly, even when used for 
typographical effect only, e.g.

div.intro {font-weight: bold}
div.intro b {font-weight: normal} /* Or "font-weight: bolder" */

or the typographical toggle:
b {font-weight: bold}
b b {font-weight: normal}

It is very useful for user stylesheets, b {font-weight: normal !important} 
can help making some of the worse web pages out there readable.

>> This is exactly what will happen when <b> and <i> are gone, but <em> and 
>> <strong> remains.
>Education is necessary, I guess.  But then, consider that when <b> and 
><i> are finally heaped onto the Dustbin of Life and no longer used, most 
>people will have been introduced into the wonderful world of 

I don't think this will ever happen (I am not entirely certain it should). 
If we take away b, i, and tt, people will use strong, emphasis and code. If 
we take away strong, emphasis and code, people will use <span class="b">, 
<span class="i">, <span class="tt">. If we take away span, people will use 
another language.

>What relevance would <keyphrase> (or whatever) have to screen readers 
>(where the user can't scan as easily) or phones/palmtops/etc. (where the 
>user has a much reduced screen-size)?
>I know Jakob Neilsen does it, but not *everything* he says is right :-)

Small devices and aural devices (as well as search engines) are exactly 
where scanning could be useful, the problem with both is that you lose the 
overview that you would get on paper or big screen. Otherwise I agree with 
most typographers that mrking out keywords with for instance bold type is 
bad form. It does help scannability, but also reduces readability. 

This is where style sheets are useful. The default stylesheet should be

highlight {font: inherit; text-decoration: inherit; etc: inherit}

That is, the element need not be visible (audible) by default, but by for 
instance attaching a "scan.css" user style sheet, you could scan through the 
information quickly.

Jonny Axelsson,
Opera Software
Received on Wednesday, 7 August 2002 08:10:22 UTC

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