Re: Underline element.

On Jan 5, 2008 1:24 AM, Peter Krantz <> wrote:
> <span property="shipping:shipName">Titanic</span>
> ...with the appropriate vocabulary identifier of course. This provides
> custom vocabularies that will be distinguishable from ambiguous things like
> <u> and <i> that aren't machine interpretable. I really wish more people on
> the list could have a look at the possibilities you get with RDFa. A lot of
> the time it would shorten discussions like these.

I'm not so sure it will shorten discussions ;)

I prefer to use an element with *some* meaning as an alternative to
span, if possible. I like the detail of additional vocabs that RDFa
can offer, and I see strength in combining these practices. In the
example above, I would choose:

<i property="shipping:shipName">Titanic</i>
(possibly cite may be better in this case).

Italics does not and will never convey the rich semantics of RDFa. But
it provides a meaning... a correct meaning in this case as italics is
appropriate (in English, a valid point re translations but equally
valid point that markup, not only content, requires translation). I
try to use markup that provides the best (semantic) match. Think of it
as a fallback for UAs that do not support RDFa. Or think of RDFa as
progressive enhancement for markup that is loose and ambiguous in

Now I would still use em for emphasis and cite for citations (for
semantic clarity), but for other typically* italicised text I would
prefer to use i (with class or RDFa attribtues) rather than span. Span
does not mean italics, it means nothing. You may prefer to use span
because of that very reason, and I can respect that point of view. I
prefer to do my markup a little differently perhaps, and I sincerely
hope HTML5 preserves this choice.

* by "typically italicised" I mean as defined by a style manual. If I
just wanted italics for decorative reasons I would not introduce an i
element - css will do the job.


Received on Saturday, 5 January 2008 12:08:31 UTC