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Re: AuthConfReq: Presentational Markup

From: Sam Ruby <rubys@intertwingly.net>
Date: Sat, 27 Mar 2010 10:44:21 -0400
Message-ID: <4BAE19C5.4070503@intertwingly.net>
To: Anne van Kesteren <annevk@opera.com>
CC: HTML WG <public-html@w3.org>
On 03/27/2010 09:45 AM, Anne van Kesteren wrote:
> On Sat, 27 Mar 2010 13:17:27 +0100, Sam Ruby <rubys@intertwingly.net>
> wrote:
>> The reasons given for disallowing presentational markup given are:
>> - The use of presentational elements leads to poorer accessibility
>> - Higher cost of maintenance
>> - Higher document sizes
>> To explore this, I offer this nearly perfect specimen of markup:
>> http://diveintomark.org/archives/2007/06/30/irony
>> And draw attention to two parts:
>> <b style="background:transparent;color:red">1984</b>
>> <strike>the</strike>
>> The former conforms to the author conformance requirements present in
>> the document. How does this lead to greater accessibility than the
>> alternative? How does it reduce maintenance costs? How does it reduce
>> document sizes?
> I'm not sure whether those are the right questions. It seems to me that
> this is why the style="" attribute is allowed. For the rare cases where
> you want a slightly different presentation.

The questions still are valid.  How do style attributes lead to greater 
accessibility than font elements do?  How do style attributes reduce 
maintenance costs over the use of font elements?  How do style 
attributes reduce document styles over the use of font elements?

One possible answer is that the Conformance requirements for authors 
section is incomplete, and needs to contain additional rationale.

Another possibility is to challenge the statement that "It is 
significantly easier to maintain a site written in such a way that the 
markup is style-independent".  And I don't mean to challenge it in the 
obvious way: but to question any presumption that may be built into that 
statement that a site is built by either a single author or by authors 
in close collaboration.

What is much more common today is that a template or layout is built by 
one set of people, and that such tend to make heavy use of CSS, and such 
usage should be encouraged.  Inside that layout is then placed content 
which is authored using a variety of techniques such as forms (possibly 
using content-editable) or simplified markup (such as textile).  Such 
content is often designed to be site independent, and as such avoids 
significant dependencies on CSS that might be provided by the site. 
Such content often has additional constraints, such as the desire to 
survive syndication.

As near as I can tell, the use of the <strike> element was not by Mark 
himself, but was allowed through whatever gauntlet of sanitization 
filters that he employed at the time.

- Sam Ruby
Received on Saturday, 27 March 2010 14:45:01 UTC

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