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History Re: Bold vs Strong

From: Chaals Nevile <chaals@yandex.ru>
Date: Thu, 06 Sep 2018 23:56:25 +0200
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Message-ID: <op.zoxwkbs2nd6f5a@ordhord.home>
On Thu, 06 Sep 2018 22:47:42 +0200, David Woolley  
<forums@david-woolley.me.uk> wrote:

> On 06/09/18 14:26, Katie Haritos-Shea wrote:
>> I thought <b> and <i> originally came out of SGML.....before HTML
>>
> SGML has no pre-defined tags.  It is the <tag>....</tag> construct, not  
> any particular value of tag, that comes from SGML (although the original  
> versions of HTML complied with SGML more fully than that).

I believe that a number of very old HTML tags (I know this is the case for  
the h1-h6 set) were essentially re-using an SGML vocabulary that happened  
to be familiar to many people who might have been the "first users" of  
HTML, in CERN. The reason for adopting them was to ease transition to HTML  
(which was SGML-like, but at the very beginning didn't actually have the  
formal structure SGML did - that came later on, along with the development  
of XML as a formal replacement for SGML).

'strong' and 'em' - and lots of other things, some good ideas and some  
probably not - were introduced in HTML 4 - which was SGML based, attempted  
to have robust semantics that allowed for things like device independence  
and decent accessibility support, and so on. Early work on HTML5 also  
tried to assign more semantics to things that hadn't had them before as  
well as add another new set of semantic elements. Some of that took hold,  
some of it didn't.

For what it's worth, "semantics" - understanding meaning and how people  
use it - is really really hard. So it isn't surprising that quite often  
efforts to make it work more like someone thinks it should don't get  
global traction and success.

cheers

-- 
Chaals: Charles (McCathie) Nevile    find more at https://yandex.com
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Received on Thursday, 6 September 2018 21:56:49 UTC

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