Re: Agenda Conf call 2011-sep-28

[cross-posted to www-style]

> 6. recommended styles for <em> in Asian scripts
> -----------------------------------------------
> Should we officially recommend the HTML WG to use
> 'text-emphasis-style' for <em> in Asian languages?
> Ping the I18N WG about it?

I can't be on the call this week so I just want to repeat what I
already posted to www-style [1], namely that I think changing the defaults
to a property that's not yet commonly in use is a dangerous

While it might make all the theoretical sense in the world, there are
going to be lots of cases where users expect obliqued characters for
<em> elements even though there isn't a typographic tradition of doing
this (e.g. Japanese).  

Lots of general purpose software uses <em> elements for UI (e.g. in
subject headers of forum postings).  Substituting the use of emphasis
marks in these situations may not work at all, either because of the
layout or because in the specific context it doesn't represent the
same level of contrast with the surrounding text.  For example, are
emphasis marks going to distinguish text as clearly as obliquing when
viewed on a typical smartphone screen?

This is why I feel it's safer to wait until emphasis marks are widely
implemented and authors have a chance to use them before committing to
specifying their use in HTML defaults.


John Daggett


Received on Wednesday, 28 September 2011 06:29:57 UTC