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[whatwg] Deprecating <small> , <b>

From: Jonas Sicking <jonas@sicking.cc>
Date: Mon, 24 Nov 2008 15:10:20 -0800
Message-ID: <492B345C.6090604@sicking.cc>
Pentasis wrote:
> 
>> I was thinking mostly about the tag's current usage on the web, which 
>> is a crazy mix between the HTML4 and HTML5 definition of the element. 
>> HTML4 defines it purely presentational, HTML5 mostly semantical. In 
>> that context, I believe <small> is inappropriate.
>>
>> However, as you write and as HTML5 defines it, there is nothing wrong 
>> with <small> per se, and I agree that as an element indicating 
>> "smallprint", it works just fine.
>>
>> Since my initial reply might have been a bit too colored by the HTML4 
>> definition of the element and its current usage on the web, I hereby 
>> withdraw my comment and conclude that I mostly agree with you. :-)
>>
> 
> But isn't this just the reason why it should be dis-used?
> The HTML4 spec defined it as a styling tag, and that is how it is 
> *mostly* used and understood by the majority of the users/authors.
> Just because HTML5 redefines the element does not mean that the element 
> will suddenly be semantic. Even if people start using it purely 
> semantically from now on (and what is the chance of that?), the existing 
> websites still carry small-tags that are not compliant with the new 
> definition. By redefining it the (existing) web "breaks"; allbeit purely 
> in the semantic area.

Note that the semantic meaning that HTML5 gives it is very weak. All it 
says is that the text inside the <b> is different from the text outside 
it. All the existing uses on the web that I've seen are correct 
according to this semantic definition.

Do you have any counter examples of this, where the <b> was containing 
something that was exactly semantically the same as the surrounding content?

/ Jonas
Received on Monday, 24 November 2008 15:10:20 UTC

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