W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-html@w3.org > May 2007

Re: Cleaning House

From: Dão Gottwald <dao@design-noir.de>
Date: Mon, 07 May 2007 11:25:43 +0200
Message-ID: <463EF097.7060001@design-noir.de>
To: Murray Maloney <murray@muzmo.com>
CC: Benjamin Hawkes-Lewis <bhawkeslewis@googlemail.com>, www-html@w3.org, public-html@w3.org

Murray Maloney schrieb:
> At 12:05 AM 5/7/2007 +0100, Benjamin Hawkes-Lewis wrote:
>> Murray Maloney wrote:
>>> Can we all agree, based on these references, that it is completely 
>>> within reason to say:
>>> - The reason that we markup text is to distinguish or emphasize it in 
>>> some way.
>> Yes on "distinguish". No on "emphasize" (as the term is commonly 
>> defined). Sometimes markup is used to distinguish text as 
>> /emphasized/, but sometimes it is distinguished for other reasons.
> Alright. So you will agree that marked-up phrases in HTML are distinguished
> and that only some of them are /emphasized/.

<h2><i>Foo bar</i></h2>

<i> is purely presentational here, a CSS replacement; it doesn't change 
the meaning. So not even "distinguished" holds up.

>>> - We often, but not always, employ visual and aural cues to signal 
>>> those distinctions.
>>> - There exists a rich history of typographical practice employed to 
>>> signal distinctions.
>>> - There exists a rich history of vocal practice employed to signal 
>>> distinctions.
>>> - Bold and Italic are forms of emphasis.
>> Not generally no. Even if Wikipedia is accurately reflecting the 
>> actual usage of the term among typographers, I think ordinary 
>> dictionary definitions are more cogent when trying to agree how an 
>> ordinary author or developer would understand the HTML specifications.
> Sorry. I need help here. We looked at definitions of "emphasis".
> How can you fail to accept that bold and italic fonts,
> shouts and whispers, and lights blinking and sirens wailing are all 
> legitimate
> forms of emphasis?

You're repeating this again and again, yet nobody gets it. Could it be 
that your argument is flawed?

To cite Lachlan Hunt: "That's like trying to argue that a square is a 
form of rectangle, so square is a synonym for rectangle."

But let me try it another way:
   ____________                       _______ _
  /            \         ____________/_
| meaningless__|_______/_          |  \   ...
  \__________/_/       /  \          \__\____ _
      ...   |  italic |    | emphasis    |
     _______|_____    |    |     ________|_
    /        \____\____\__/     /       /  \
   | foreign words |    \______|_______/    |
    \_____________/            |  boldface  |

That is, italic font style is an option to indicate emphasis, yet not 
all italic words are emphasised (and since you seem to have another 
definition of "emphasis", read this as: more important than the 
surrounding text). See also 

>>> - It is widely understood by practitioners that systems may render 
>>> bold and italic using other typographic devices if bold and italic 
>>> are unavailable (or undesirable for whatever reason.
>> Who are "practitioners"? I doubt the majority of HTML content authors 
>> realize this.
> Dan and Chris and , do you think that everybody does or should know
> that <b> and <i> can be presented using any CSS styling available to 
> other inlines?
> Hakon? Maciej? Dave? Please feel free to chime in anytime.
> If it boosts my creds any: I was product manager for SoftQuad's HoTMetaL 
> in 1995.
> I am qualified to say that you can redefine <b> to red and <i> to green
> and aural and Braille readers can ignore or re-map them too.

That's irrelevant. Benjamin didn't refer to you but the majority of HTML 
content authors.

Received on Monday, 7 May 2007 09:25:48 UTC

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