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Re: Cleaning House

From: Tina Holmboe <tina@greytower.co.uk>
Date: Sat, 5 May 2007 23:53:31 +0200
To: Christoph Päper <christoph.paeper@crissov.de>
Cc: www-html@w3.org, Tina Holmboe <tina@greytower.co.uk>, public-html@w3.org
Message-ID: <20070505215331.GB23727@greytower.net>

On Sat, May 05, 2007 at 11:26:45PM +0200, Christoph Päper wrote:

> Tina Holmboe:
> >On Sat, May 05, 2007 at 09:10:19AM -0400, Murray Maloney wrote:
> >
> >>The semantics* of <i> is emphasise with italic typeface.
> >>The semantics* of <em> is emphasise, probably with italics
> "Emphasis" can be semantics, but "emphasise" cannot, because it is an  
> instruction.

  This is abit confusing. Are you responding to Murray, or to

> >  This was reconfirmed in HTML 3.2, (...). In HTML 4.0 and 4.01 (...)
> >  the definition of <i> remain the same.
> How much does it matter really how something was defined in an  
> earlier version of a standard if the new definition is basically  
> compatible?

  It has, to put it mildly, enormous impact. If we in 2007
  say that "The I-element shall now no longer be used to produce
  italics style font like every document using it assume, but
  rather to mean so-and-so" then we will end up with a staggering
  amount of so-and-so's which are nothing of the kind.

  We're stuck with the I-element meaning a font style; there's
  nothing more to be had. 

> >  If, on the other hand, you claim authors HAVE cared about
> >  semantics, then removing the I-element is the only
> >  logical way to go, as it is /by definition/ a
> >  font-style element and /nothing else/.
> That was only true if there was a better fitting element type for  
> each and every reason people have used |i| semantically in the past.  
> The pragmatic approach is to make |i| bear real semantics.

  No, that's the ostrich method. The I-element /is not/ used
  for semantic purposes in the real world, and I doubt
  anyone would be particularly happy to see

   "Come to the <i>wedding of the century</i>!"

  interpreted as a "proper name"*. Yes, the above is an actual
  example from a document I had the misfortune to review
  a while ago. The same author also positioned all his
  headers as <b> styled absolutely from the top using px.

  One week ago, in 2007. So no. The I-element, as B, is
  not something we shall change the meaning of now. It's
  too late.

  Yes, we /could/ interpret it as <em>. When someone write
  an AI able to tell the difference between the two we
  can reopen this case.

 - Tina Holmboe
Received on Saturday, 5 May 2007 21:53:42 UTC

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