RE: [Bug 10838] Make <u> conforming.

I think the argument of "<b> and <i> but not <u>" is weird because it is inconsistent. There are tags (<em>, etc.) for doing semantic markup. These others are presentational. Ian has even used the phrase "semantic fig leaf" for the inclusion of <i> and <b>. I think it's an absurdly small fig leaf. It should cover them all or it should cover none of them.

Addison Phillips
Globalization Architect (Lab126)
Chair (W3C I18N, IETF IRI WGs)

Internationalization is not a feature.
It is an architecture.

From: KangHao Lu (Kenny) []
Sent: Thursday, September 30, 2010 10:17 AM
To: Phillips, Addison
Cc: CJK discussion; WWW International
Subject: Re: [Bug 10838] Make <u> conforming.

Hello Addison,

One form of East Asian emphasis are emphasis marks, such as Japanese bouten. See:

While one might choose to use <i> or <b> tags to indicate this form of emphasis (it is just emphasis, after all), using <u> might be semantically closer. <i> and <b> typically are implemented via an actual variation in the presentation of the text itself. <u> would mean text emphasized with something drawn near it or added to it. This doesn't mean that <i> can't be used to underline text (or otherwise decorate it). But providing <u> does give an element whose semantic meaning is closer to "text-emphasis-style" than <i> or <b> suggest.

Any comments on my use case? Is it a reasonable one? Or is <i> or such really a better choice for this?

I think based on their way of reasoning, they will ask you to use <em> here, which I actually agree with. Proper noun marks are supposed to be applied on *every* proper noun, so it certainly doesn't have a meaning of emphasis. Of course there might be other arguments such as using <em> is not intuitive, but I doubt how convincing it is.

The use cases for <u> might be those existing old rules about using underline in typography, such as you use underline in manuscripts for texts to be italicized (I leaned this yesterday). I do think their might be other weird rules around the world as weird as this proper noun mark. If you do have any other example, that should be brought up.

I have to say I am not a fan of <u> either. What makes me uncomfortable is the inconsistency I sense here and I rather want all <i> <b> <u> to get to the status of "Obsolete but conforming" altogether. The editor claims that now <i> gets new semantics (the meaning of alternate mood or voice), but he includes ship name as an example, and I don't think you would pronounce a ship name in an alternative mood or voice (am I wrong here?). Some options here:

- We want <i> <b> <u> to go into "Obsolete but conforming" altogether
- <i> and <b> should remove the meaning of "an offset from the normal prose", so use cases such as using <i> for ship names should be invalid or at least "Obsolete but conforming"

FYI, in current spen <b><i> have the following definition
The b element represents a span of text to be stylistically offset from the normal prose without conveying any extra importance, such as key words in a document abstract, product names in a review, or other spans of text whose typical typographic presentation is boldened.

The i element represents a span of text in an alternate voice or mood, or otherwise offset from the normal prose, such as a taxonomic designation, a technical term, an idiomatic phrase from another language, a thought, a ship name, or some other prose whose typical typographic presentation is italicized.

I think the examples for <i> are not very culturally neutral, and I don't think the current description for <b> adds any new semantics to it. If listing examples is enough then we can make a list of example use of <u> as well.

(Side info: for the proper noun mark use case, fantasai proposed <i> and Chinese folks proposed <b> cause they all have the "offset from the normal prose" meaning". Well...)

This topic was discussed here two years ago, right?

Received on Thursday, 30 September 2010 17:25:31 UTC