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Re: XHTML 2.0 - dfn : Content model and usability (PR#7832)

From: Jukka K. Korpela <jkorpela@cs.tut.fi>
Date: Sat, 25 Mar 2006 15:46:12 +0200 (EET)
To: www-html@w3.org
Message-ID: <Pine.GSO.4.64.0603251541110.6102@korppi.cs.tut.fi>

On Sat, 25 Mar 2006, David Woolley wrote:

>> How is the reader expected to know whether italics is used in printed
>> matter to indicate a defining occurrence, or to emphasize, or to indicate
> The reality is that, in general they do,

I'm afraid that's wishful thinking. Anything that can be understood in two 
or more ways will be understood in the wrongest way.

I don't think there is any universal convention on defining occurrences in 
print media. They are often highlighted, but in different ways. Remember 
that the use italics is rather unnoticeable for many fonts.

If browsers used _different_ default styling for <dfn>, <cite>, and <var>,
the message would be much clearer, and authors might have been more 
interested in using such markup.

> <dfn> etc., give the potential for machine processing

But it has not been used. Is there any reason to believe that something 
similar would get used when defined in a more complex environment?

> An example of a house style case
> is Wikipedia (which although not using <dfn>, uses bold rather than italics
> for defining references).

The fact that they don't use <dfn> says much about <dfn>, and about 
Wikipedia too, of course.

Jukka "Yucca" Korpela, http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/
Received on Saturday, 25 March 2006 13:46:23 UTC

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