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Re: Cleaning House

From: Laura Carlson <laura.lee.carlson@gmail.com>
Date: Mon, 7 May 2007 15:11:12 -0500
Message-ID: <1c8dbcaa0705071311k5b8b6d08i3ba59db6f6b0cdf6@mail.gmail.com>
To: www-html@w3.org, public-html@w3.org

On 5/6/07, Tina Holmboe <tina@greytower.net> wrote:

>   I have, repeatedly, stated that the I-element as defined does not
>   convey any meaning, but the EM-element does.

I agree.

Some elements, like i in HTML, relate to presentation. They are
typographic conventions. e.g. in italic letters usually sloped to the
right. They don't really convey anything about the meaning of the
content. They convey how information should to be displayed.

Some users don't see pages or use a visual browser. You can't rely
upon purely visual renderings and typographic conventions to convey
meaning outside of a visual browser.

To separate content from design, semantic markup, like em and strong,
should be used. Typographic conventions and visual presentation is the
job of CSS. Mark up information by its implied meaning. Worry about
style later.

Also italic text can have issues in visual browsers for people with
low vision. Most monitors have a native resolution of only 72-96 dpi,
which can leave  italic text jagged and very hard to read, especially
for those with vision problems. Italic text is particularly bad at
small sizes because it does not easy to render using a square pixel
grid. Italic letters are harder to read on a computer monitor than in
print ([1] Arditi 2005). Italic letters may also cause spacing
problems in some browsers ([2] Fussino, 2004). Some dyslexic people
find italic text difficult to read ([3] University of Manchester and
[4]John Bradford).


[1] http://www.lighthouse.org/accessibility/legible/
[2] http://www.positioniseverything.net/explorer/italicbug-ie.html
[3] http://www.websupport.man.ac.uk/accessibility/Disabilities/dyslexia.html
[4] http://www.dyslexia-parent.com/mag35.html

Laura L. Carlson
Information Technology Systems and Services
University of Minnesota Duluth
Duluth, MN U.S.A. 55812-3009
Received on Monday, 7 May 2007 20:11:15 UTC

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