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

Re: code, samp, kbd, var

From: Tina Holmboe <tina@greytower.net>
Date: Thu, 17 May 2007 11:04:32 +0200
To: Jim Jewett <jimjjewett@gmail.com>
Cc: Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>, Lachlan Hunt <lachlan.hunt@lachy.id.au>, www-html@w3.org
Message-ID: <20070517090431.GB13544@greytower.net>

On Tue, May 15, 2007 at 07:20:22PM -0400, Jim Jewett wrote:

> >  make. The problem is, of course, that all three have established
> >  use - I quoted one example of why <b> cannot be unambigously
> >  interpreted as anything but presentational - that is not
> >  compatible with the 'new' interpretation.
> Rather, you provided an example of why interpreting <b> that way will
> sometimes be incorrect, from the author's Point Of View.  (In my
> opinion, a heading is at least a candidate keyword.)
> But since the author was using <b> incorrectly according to the
> existing draft, where is the harm?  Non-conforming documents continue

  Ah, but here's the trick. The author of the document, one in a
  collection of pages stored during an accessibility review of
  UK government sites, used <b> /exactly/ as outlined in the
  HTML specification that exist today: to achieve a certain
  visual effect.

  He, or she, /should/ have used CSS, headers, and strong, in
  that order, but from the point of view of the author the B-element
  was entirely appropriate ... for getting something bold.

  If we were now to change the way <b> should be interpreted to
  include semantics - if vague semantics - any tool that extract
  said semantics would find itself extracting ... nothing at all
  from documents using it according to the /old/ specification.

  It's even worse if the author /has/ used it according to the
  new draft: the semantics are still vague - and we must, I hope,
  agree that there is a rather huge difference between "a header",
  and "emphasis"?

> >  Adding elements for this kind of 'mood' change is a good idea, but
> >  overloading old ones is not.
> As best I can tell, it is a time saver for people who were using the
> old spec either correctly, or in a common and defensible manner; it is

  If they didn't use it for bold text, it wasn't defensible, no matter
  how 'common' it might be.

  We /can't/ start to interpret random bits and pieces of HTML in
  ways they've not been interpreted before. It'll be a bad idea in
  the context of correct usage, and a bad idea in the context of
  /incorrect/ usage.

 -  Tina Holmboe      Developer's Archive           Greytower Technologies
                   http://www.dev-archive.net      http://www.greytower.net    
Received on Thursday, 17 May 2007 09:04:41 UTC

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