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Re: Cleaning House

From: Philip & Le Khanh <Philip-and-LeKhanh@Royal-Tunbridge-Wells.Org>
Date: Thu, 03 May 2007 21:35:26 +0100
Message-ID: <463A478E.5060008@Royal-Tunbridge-Wells.Org>
To: www-html@w3.org, public-html@w3.org

Jukka K. Korpela wrote:
> On Thu, 3 May 2007, Patrick H. Lauke wrote:
>> So how about, right here right now, moving the contentious <b>, <i>, 
>> <sub>, <sup> and <small> (did I miss any others?) under the 
>> "Presentational markup" section
> I think I've seen this before... Those elements have been discussed 
> many, many times on different forums. Calling all of them 
> indiscriminately "presentational" is gross oversimplification. Surely 
> the difference between 3<sup>2</sup> and 32 is not just in visual 
> rendering; it's the difference between 9 and 32.
> Unfortunately, the discussions seldom go past the point of an incomplete 
> statement of the problem. If such issues where presentation and meaning 
> are intimately coupled cannot be analyzed and solved properly, it is 
> best to allow common presentational markup as currently allowed in HTML, 
> and perhaps add a little. Taking it away without adding fairly complex 
> semantic markup for all the relevant cases would be a disservice.

I usually agree with Jukka, and I certainly agree that <sub>/<sup>
transcend the content/form boundary (and would therefore have
no objections to their retention in HTML 5).  However, I do not
believe that even were they to be removed, we would have to "[add]
fairly complex semantic markup for all the relevant cases" :
rather, I believe we should provide the functionality to allow an
author to add his/her own preferred semantic markup, since the
one things on which I am confident we /all/ agree is that a finite
set of elements can never carry all the possible semantic nuances
that an author might wish to convey.

Philip Taylor
Received on Thursday, 3 May 2007 20:35:30 UTC

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