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Re: Cleaning House

From: Jacques Steyn <Jacques.Steyn@infotech.monash.edu>
Date: Fri, 04 May 2007 11:43:58 +0200
Message-ID: <463B005E.7000900@infotech.monash.edu>
Cc: www-html@w3.org, public-html@w3.org

The following aspects need to be kept separate in this debate:
* The authoring user interface
* The coding agent - which translates user choices into HTML code, and 
for HTML 5 should implement only proper code
* The rendering agent (browser) which renders the code both with regards 
to the semantic content, and the style preferances of the user. This 
agent should render HTML 5 properly, but should also render old 
deprecated stuff properly for the sake of backward compatibility

What a user sees and what happens in the engine room does not need to 
map identically.
If a user sees a *b* or *i* button on the interface, that does not mean 
the authoring tool should write a tag in the code that says *i*. If 
logic and presentation should be kept separate (which I strongly 
support), the coding agent could even write
<span style="font-style: italic">blah blah</span>.
Programmatically this string of code and *i* would be handled exactly 
the same.

On *i* and *em*: some have stated that *em* is semantic. That is 
debatable. With reference to speech such emphasis would be a prosodic 
feature, which should be marked with aural descriptors. With reference 
to visual text, prosodic emphasis does not necessarily need to be 
displayed. Displayed italic font is often used for technical terms, or 
foreign languages, but that does not mean such text is emphasised.


T.V Raman wrote:

>I believe:
>
>A)      <b> and <i> are perfect fine to retain
>        --not so much because of legacy support, because in
>        practice <em> is no more semantic than <i>.
>
>B)      I believe presentational markup is evil.
>
>Maciej Stachowiak writes:
> > 
> > On May 3, 2007, at 11:00 AM, T.V Raman wrote:
> > 
> > >
> > > Next, you'll see me eating soup at a TAG meeting and believe I
> > > like TagSoup:-)
> > 
> > I'm happy to let you speak for yourself. Just to be clear, do you  
> > think the <b> and <i> tags should be retained for conforming  
> > documents or not? I've assumed yes based on your past remarks.
> > 
> > Regards,
> > Maciej
> > 
> > 
> > >
> > > To clarify, what I said about the <b>, <i> <em> tag question was:
> > >
> > > A) At the end of the day, asserting that <em> is more semantic
> > >    than <i> or that <i> is more presentational than <em> changes
> > >    nothing.
> > >
> > > B) Worse, if you only have <em> and didn't have an <i>, then
> > >    people will just use <em> as a synonym for <i>, and the overall
> > >    markup that results actually loses, not gains semantics.
> > >
> > > C) If the only accessibility problem left on the Web was that of
> > >    people using <i> tags instead of <em> tags, I'd declare
> > >    victory and go home;-)!
> > 
> > 
> > 
>
>  
>

-- 
___________________________
Dr Jacques Steyn
Head: School of IT
Monash South Africa

+27-11-950-4132 Phone
+27-11-950-4133 Fax
+27-83-296-9122 Mobile

http://sit.monash.ac.za
jacques.steyn@infotech.monash.edu

IDIA: International Development Informatics Association
http://www.developmentinformatics.org/
Received on Friday, 4 May 2007 09:44:18 GMT

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