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RE: Chinese language and emphasis

From: Richard Ishida <ishida@w3.org>
Date: Fri, 1 Feb 2008 15:39:10 -0000
To: <www-international@w3.org>
Message-ID: <004a01c864e8$96fd44b0$c4f7ce10$@org>

I just posted a comment on the topic of <i> and <b> tags to the HTML5 WG


"Suggested wording improvements for <i> and <b> sections"

I'm basically arguing that authors may want to use <i> and <b> for semantic
concepts that are not already covered by HTML elements, so that by default
their text has a distinct visual appearance (although ideally I'd rather
rename the tags), but they should also use class attributes to clarify the
semantics so that specific types of text can be identified, and to associate
the marked up content with style sheet rules.

You should note that HTML5 redefines the semantics of <em> <strong> <i> and



Richard Ishida
Internationalization Lead
W3C (World Wide Web Consortium)


> -----Original Message-----
> From: www-international-request@w3.org [mailto:www-international-
> request@w3.org] On Behalf Of Stephen Deach
> Sent: 01 February 2008 00:06
> To: Andrew Cunningham; www-international@w3.org
> Subject: Re: Chinese language and emphasis
> A historical caution.
>    People have been attempting to kill the use of <i> since the inception
> of Gencode[tm] (~1980 predecessor of SGML, then thru HTML, then thru XML).
> It isn't going to happen. Using <em> keeps getting proposed, but never
> gains traction.
> My suggestion: treat <i> as if it was <em> for languages where "italic" is
> not a preferred representation. Add another tag if you "really" want
> shatai
> (the closest Japanese has to italic for ideographic glyphs).
> At 2008.02.01-08:35(+1100), Andrew Cunningham wrote:
> >I suspect that my concerns about the <i> element is that to my mind it is
> >presentational. I know that some people argue that it can have semantic
> >meaning. But it only has semantic meaning if you assume that all
> languages
> >and scripts on the web have to follow the typesetting and typographic
> >traditions of Europe.
> >
> >Note that the conventions for italicization only allied to print
> >publications, handwritten material and material prepared on a typewriter
> >often used alternative conventions.
> >
> >In the early days of the web, and even now, you'll find articles and
> posts
> >discussing how to bring good typographic practice to the web. Generally
> >this centres on the needs and concerns of English or a few other European
> >languages.
> >
> >Just look a the core non-Latin fonts on a standard operating system. Some
> >scripts will only have one weight and style. Some fonts may be available
> >in two weights.
> >
> >It is rare for a non Latin, Cyrillic or Greek typeface to have an italic
> >or oblique version.
> >
> >Not even sure if I've ever seen an italic or oblique CJK font. I know I
> >don't have any installed on my system, despite the number of fonts
> >installed over the years.
> >
> >Even CSS3 is merely a step in the right direction. With a range of
> >Latin/Cyrillic typographic conventions well embedded in CSS.
> >
> >The styling of web sites should be responsive to language and the
> >typographic traditions of each language.
> >
> >Andrew
> >
> >KUROSAKA Teruhiko wrote:
> >>
> >>>I'm wondering if anyone could answer a couple of questions for me. As I
> >>>understand it Japanese doesn’t use italics as a form of emphasis, so
> >>>using |<i>| tags around ideographic text is a big no no. Can anyone
> >>Not necessarily.  Use of italic in Japanese text is rare but not wrong.
> >>By the way, the <i> tag will no longer mean italic when the now draft
> >>becomes the standard. Here's a quote from:
> >>http://www.w3.org/TR/html5/#the-i
> >>---------------------------------------------------
> >>The i element should be used as a last resort when no other element is
> more
> >>appropriate. In particular, citations should use the cite element,
> >>defining instances
> >>of terms should use the dfn  element, stress emphasis should use the em
> >>element,
> >>importance should be denoted with the strong element, quotes should be
> marked
> >>up with the q element, and small print should use the small element.
> >>Style sheets can be used to format i elements, just like any other
> >>element can be
> >>restyled. Thus, it is not the case that content in i elements will
> >>necessarily
> >>be italicised.
> >>---------------------------------------------------
> >
> >--
> >Andrew Cunningham
> >Research and Development Coordinator (Vicnet)
> >State Library of Victoria
> >328 Swanston Street
> >Melbourne VIC 3000
> >Australia
> >
> >Email: andrewc+AEA-vicnet.net.au
> >Alt. email: lang.support+AEA-gmail.com
> >
> >Ph: +613-8664-7430                    Fax:+613-9639-2175
> >Mob: 0421-450-816
> >
> >http://www.slv.vic.gov.au/            http://www.vicnet.net.au/
> >http://www.openroad.net.au/           http://www.mylanguage.gov.au/
> >http://home.vicnet.net.au/~andrewc/
> >
> ---Steve Deach
>     sdeach@adobe.com
Received on Friday, 1 February 2008 15:36:07 UTC

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