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RE: Cleaning House

From: John Foliot - WATS.ca <foliot@wats.ca>
Date: Thu, 3 May 2007 08:12:46 -0700
To: "'Henri Sivonen'" <hsivonen@iki.fi>, "'Patrick H.Lauke'" <redux@splintered.co.uk>
Cc: "'Boris Zbarsky'" <bzbarsky@MIT.EDU>, <www-html@w3.org>, <public-html@w3.org>
Message-ID: <001701c78d95$864b6500$6501a8c0@bosshog>

James Graham wrote:
> FWIW I spent some time arguing this point of view on the WHATWG list.
> I eventually came to the conclusion that I was wrong and that having
> some presentational elements in the language to cover common
> typographic conventions is a positive thing. Some of the reasons I
> changed my view include:
> a) Having a *few* typographical elements for *common* typographical
> conventions alleviates the abuse of semantic elements for non-semantic
> purposes. For example blindly replacing <em> with <i> only serves to
> make it harder for UAs to be sure that <em> is being used to indicate
> emphasis. By encouraging authors who are not consciously specifying a
> semantic rather than a presentation to use non-semantic elements
> rather than mis-use semantic ones we can hope to prevent the dilution
> of the semantics in "semantic" elements to the point that they are no
> longer useful.


Henri Sivonen wrote:
> It would be really nice if the advocates of semantic markup based
> their advocacy on realistic use cases instead of an axiomatic belief
> that more semantics are good and all presentational features are bad.

It boils down to this:  If you want to Bold some text, or italicize it, or
underline it, you are doing so *for a reason*... I don't care really what
the reason is, you are doing so in a visual way to indicate some connotation
or other cue/clue to the end "reader", or consumer.

But if you can't *SEE* the bold, italic or underlined text, how do you
convey that same cue/clue to the end consumer?  For the sighted user,
presentational features are not bad, but for the non-sighted, pray tell, how
will you convey that same nuance?  

So I will turn the tables - give me a good, realistic use-case where
presenting nuanced information to some users, while excluding others, is


Received on Thursday, 3 May 2007 15:27:47 UTC

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