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Re: indicating subtitles using small

From: Mallory van Achterberg <stommepoes@stommepoes.nl>
Date: Mon, 20 May 2013 21:48:50 +0200
To: public-html@w3.org
Message-ID: <20130520194850.GA7498@jkva-vps.colo.transip.net>
Hey,

I consider Bootstrap to be the anti-reasoning for any HTML element. 
After all, they use li tags for headings.

But I see it as reflecting popular opinion/usage.
I recently re-launched my old website using an old small-inside
-an-h1 technique, something I've done for a long time. Because.

I like HTML5's "new" definition of small as "fine/legal text" but
to me it's really just a different "voice", similar to em, in
my head when I read things. Stuff in parentheses sound similar to
me (they're like inline asides).

Small is not appropriate for subheadings but I've been using them
for exactly that for years now because it still seemed better than
what hgroup offered (everything inside hgroup *must* be a heading,
which is usually inappropriate for slogans, mottos, taglines, bylines
etc).

In my mind, maybe because of the "voice" thing, small has been
translated in my head as "semantically small", something you
may be required to state but want read quickly, out of the way,
not paid attention to and not to spoil your brand-name marketing
but satisfying the lawyers and anyone else anyways: what "fine
print" generally does. So I'm (incorrectly) borrowing that "voice"
for sub-thingies in or near my headings. I would continue in my
documents to refer to the title/heading only by the main part: I'd
not find myself repeating "Or, the Whale" throughout.

On the off-topic of the other holdovers: <i> is absolutely necessary.
There is "semantics", and then there is "typographic convention". <i>
serves the latter, not the former. I'd shame myself typgin a species
name without slated little letters :) And we've got typographic con-
vention enshrined elsewhere in the spec: we have <u> just for Chinese
proper names, a typographic convention.

<b> is a cute CSS sandbag with 3 fewer letters than span so far as I'm
concerned :) (yeah, it's also just typographic convention)

I would like to continue using <small> as sub thingies in my headings,
but I don't think it should actually be recommended as a solution to
the issue. It's just using contraception off-label for teenage acne.

Mallory


On Mon, May 20, 2013 at 05:02:15PM +0000, Adrian Roselli wrote:
> Don't?
> 
> That's a great question that I cannot answer. I assumed it was another holdover, an attempt to justify how abused elements in the wild were already being used (I consider <b> and <i> to be in this came category).
> 
> Really, it's an element that authors are using the wrong way - not just visually, but because they think legal text is unimportant (regardless of how pretty it isn't in a layout).
> 
> 
> 
> 
> From: Steve Faulkner [mailto:faulkner.steve@gmail.com]
> Sent: Monday, May 20, 2013 12:58 PM
> To: Adrian Roselli
> Cc: Ian Devlin; public-html@w3.org
> Subject: Re: indicating subtitles using small
> 
> Ok, if its stylistic only why keep it?
> 
> --
> 
> Regards
> 
> SteveF
> HTML 5.1<http://www.w3.org/html/wg/drafts/html/master/>
> 
> On 20 May 2013 17:56, Adrian Roselli <Roselli@algonquinstudios.com<mailto:Roselli@algonquinstudios.com>> wrote:
> 
> The spec example of disclaimer text does not mean the text is any less important. If anything, that text is even more important because of its legal implications.
> 
> The purpose of <small> is to make it visually smaller. Since I don't believe it maps to a non-visual medium in any way (does a screen reader do something different with it?), <small> to me is strictly stylistic.
> 
> So, no, I don't think it semantically de-emphasizes text in any way nor should it.
> 
> As a visual reader/author, I can understand why it *feels* like it should de-emphasize, but unless that's how it's truly being used, and can map to a non-visual medium, I don't think it fits.
> 
> 
> 
> 
> From: Steve Faulkner [mailto:faulkner.steve@gmail.com<mailto:faulkner.steve@gmail.com>]
> Sent: Monday, May 20, 2013 12:42 PM
> To: Ian Devlin
> Cc: public-html@w3.org<mailto:public-html@w3.org>
> Subject: Re: indicating subtitles using small
> 
> hi Ian also also think that the de-emphasis associated with using small while not explicitly stated, is implied
> the spec says:
> The small element does not "de-emphasize" or lower the importance of text emphasized by the em element or marked as important with the strong element. To mark text as not emphasized or important, simply do not mark it up with the em or strong elements respectively.
> 
> which seems odd to state unless it de-emphasises when used in other circumstances.
> 
> 
> 
> 
> --
> 
> Regards
> 
> SteveF
> HTML 5.1<http://www.w3.org/html/wg/drafts/html/master/>
> 
> On 20 May 2013 17:03, Ian Devlin <ian@iandevlin.com<mailto:ian@iandevlin.com>> wrote:
> 
> Then I guess it depends on what "de-emphasize" means. Visually? It's not clear.
> 
> On 20 May 2013 17:28, Steve Faulkner <faulkner.steve@gmail.com<mailto:faulkner.steve@gmail.com>> wrote:
> Hi Ian,
> 
> In the cases cited I think that's the very reason  why it has been used, to make it smaller visually and thus de-emphasize it.
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> Regards
> Stevef
> 
> On 20 May 2013, at 16:17, Ian Devlin <ian@iandevlin.com<mailto:ian@iandevlin.com>> wrote:
> Well the specification currently contains a note that says: "Small print typically features disclaimers, caveats, legal restrictions, or copyrights. Small print is also sometimes used for attribution, or for satisfying licensing requirements."
> 
> Such information is important, but using <small> in these cases would de-emphasize it, which probably isn't a good thing.
> On 20 May 2013 16:30, Steve Faulkner <faulkner.steve@gmail.com<mailto:faulkner.steve@gmail.com>> wrote:
> OK so there has been continuing discussion on the issue of using <small> in the comments of post about headings and subtitles[1]
> and mallory[3] pointed out that according to bootstrap [2]:
> 
> "For de-emphasizing inline or blocks of text, use the small tag."
> 
> While I don't see a case for defining the <small> element as explicitly indicating a subtitle I am partial to the idea of <small> de-emphasizing text
> This is deemed more important than <small>this</small>, by the author.
> thoughts?
> 
> [1] http://html5doctor.com/howto-subheadings/
> [2] http://twitter.github.io/bootstrap/base-css.html
> [3] https://twitter.com/stommepoes/status/333196283294658560
> 
> --
> 
> Regards
> 
> SteveF
> HTML 5.1<http://www.w3.org/html/wg/drafts/html/master/>
> 
> On 9 April 2013 07:33, Angie Radtke <a.radtke@derauftritt.de<mailto:a.radtke@derauftritt.de>> wrote:
> Am 08.04.2013 23:30, schrieb Åke Järvklo:
> 
> Small elements inside headings seems fine to me. I never considered this a
> problem until the events leading up to tweets about boycotting Bootstrap
> over this issue started the other day.
> 
> I think nobody wants  to boycott bootstrap.
> It is only a CSS-Framework. If bootstrap-users (devs)  will use small inside the headlines it is their descion.
> The only problem is that it is an example  in the bootstrap docs. So people with less knowledge will think that this is the right way.
> It is not a big deal for the bootstrap-guys to add a class like "subtitle" to the css-files.
> The decision to use small for subtitles comes out of missing alternatives.
> 
> I wasn't very lucky that Joomla! has choosen bootstrap, because it has more issues. But now I have to deal with it and I hope we can help the guys to make it better.
> 
> 
> Bye Angie
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> --
> www.der-auftritt.de<http://www.der-auftritt.de>  Büro für Kommunikation
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> Witterschlicker Allee 52
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> 
> Fon: 0228 / 642 04 67
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> 
Received on Monday, 20 May 2013 19:49:45 UTC

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