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Re: For review: Using <b> and <i> tags

From: Bjoern Hoehrmann <derhoermi@gmx.net>
Date: Wed, 14 Jul 2010 03:03:55 +0200
To: "Richard Ishida" <ishida@w3.org>
Cc: "'Gunnar Bittersmann'" <gunnar@bittersmann.de>, <www-international@w3.org>
Message-ID: <gi1q36t4reailtq4ncluit7pjcmprgtg4s@hive.bjoern.hoehrmann.de>
* Richard Ishida wrote:
>We discussed this in the i18n telecon.  We changed tag to element in the
>page title and question, and I changed in one or two other places, but
>we felt this was sufficient for this article.  In places where we use
>the word tag now, we actually mean the tag. There may be a couple of
>places where you could equally well have used element, but we don't
>expect any confusion to arise from that.

Then you do not adequately understand the distinction between "tag" and
"element". Much like "grapheme cluster" is a higher level concept than,
say, "bytes", so is "element" a higher level concept than "tag". The ar-
ticle here is concerned with the higher level concept of "element" and
it is incorrect and misleading to use a term for a low level concept
to refer to a high level concept. There are sometimes tags involved in
encoding an element, just like you sometimes use bytes to encode a code-
point, but that does not make it somehow okay to use "tags" to refer to
"elements" or to use "bytes" to refer to a code point.

If you think about tags, you will think about lexemes in a sequence, not
elements in a structure, you will think about state, and that is where
code like

  <b>  <!-- bold on -->
  <i>  <!-- italics on -->
  </b> <!-- bold off -->
  </i> <!-- italics off -->

is coming from. If instead you thought of a tree structure where you
have "b" element nodes and "i" element nodes, code like above is outside
your frame of thought. The analogy would be e.g. thinking of 16 bit code
units as "wide characters" which falls apart beyond the BMP in Unicode,
and that is a more official and sound confusion than the one here.
-- 
Björn Höhrmann · mailto:bjoern@hoehrmann.de · http://bjoern.hoehrmann.de
Am Badedeich 7 · Telefon: +49(0)160/4415681 · http://www.bjoernsworld.de
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Received on Wednesday, 14 July 2010 01:04:30 GMT

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