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Re: XHTML2: Elements to include and not to include (i and b)

From: Lachlan Cannon <luminosity@members.evolt.org>
Date: Tue, 13 Aug 2002 18:55:53 +1000
Message-ID: <3D58C999.8000908@members.evolt.org>
To: www-html@w3.org

Samuli Lintula wrote:

> I care very much about disabilities and non-visual medias. Still, nothing in the world 
> changes the fact that in biology (for example) <i>, not <span class="*">, by it's visual 
> presentation carries *information* and that there is no eqiuivalent to it in aural or 
> braille media (that I know of).

I think the important part here is *yet*. Imagine in the future if one 
was developed, having to work your way back through hundreds of 
documents changing <i> to <i class="species"> or whatever. You could 
potentially search and replace, but then what if you've used <i> for 
something else too?

If it really is important to mark these up differently, I suggest either 
using a class, or preferably an xml application tagging these up. That 
the tag displays visually as italic has nothing to do with what the tags 
means. XML and HTML are meant for marking up elements semantically. they 
are meant to convey meaning, presentation is just something that follows 
along. If a browser does come along which knew xml but not html, and it 
saw <i> it wouldn't have any clue what it meant whereas if it hit a 
<species> tag it might know to display that in such and such a way.

There's no reason why a class or xml tag wouldn't suffice, unless you 
need to support old old browsers, and display is absolutely 100% a 
priority with them.

Imagine also, a scenario where someone brings out BioML, and you want to 
convert your pages to it. Instead of a relatively easy s&r to change all 
instances of <species> to <genus> you now have to search through by hand 
and replace your i tags, because you've use i tags elsewhere to mark up 
other things that display as <i>.

Web: http://illuminosity.net/
E-mail: lach@illuminosity.net
MSN: luminosity @ members.evolt.org
Received on Tuesday, 13 August 2002 04:56:39 UTC

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