Re: Cleaning House

Murray Maloney wrote:

> I see no advantage to using <em> over <i>. That is largely because they 
> both fall back to an italic typeface in most graphical browsers. 

How an element "falls back in most graphical browsers" is completely
and utterly irrelevant to its semantics.  If the semantics of HTML
were defined by how each element in it "falls back in most graphical
browsers", then HTML would be 100% presentational.  Instead, the
semantics are defined by the specification, and (in most cases)
heuristically inferable from the name of the element (for
educated native speakers of English).

And when I asked

>> Forgive my na\"\i vety, but which authority are
>> you citing when you make this statement ?

and you responded

> The authority of someone with 30+ years as a technical writer,
> 20+ years in SGML, HTML, XML and so on, and an original
> member of the earliest HTML Working Groups. 

I was actually seeking the /identity/ of the authority you
were citing, rather than his/her experience in the field.
As is invariably the case, it is necessary to understand
the semantics of a question before being able to give a
satisfactory answer.

Philip Taylor

Received on Sunday, 6 May 2007 09:54:33 UTC