Re: CSS 2.1 WD and non-CSS presentational hints

Dylan Schiemann wrote:
> For example, when you use the tag p for paragraphs, you are semantically
> applying a definition of paragraphs.  Additionally, most user agents
> give a default style of a margin of 1em on top and bottom.  p elements
> have traditionally had their very own implicit presentational behavior.

*Most* user agents, not all. <p> does not say "Put 1em margins at
the top and bottom." It says "This is a paragraph." I can have a
paragraph with 0 margins and a 2em text-indent, and that will
neither diminish nor contradict the semantic paragraph declaration.

I cannot, however, use an italic font instead of a bold font if the
author specifies <b>. <b> means boldface, not emphasis. I cannot
increase the font size, or put a red border around it, or read it
louder, or use a fantasy font. The tag says nothing about drawing
attention to the element. It only says, "Make this use a boldface
font." If I cannot make it boldface then I should leave it alone.
Unlike the paragraph tag, it is specifying a specific presentation,
not the reason or purpose behind the presentation. This is why
<b> is presentational markup and <p> is not.


Received on Monday, 19 August 2002 14:03:03 UTC