[whatwg] [web-apps] 2.7.8 The i element

Ian Hickson ian at hixie.ch
Sat Apr 16 07:53:14 PDT 2005

On Sun, 17 Apr 2005, Lachlan Hunt wrote:
> >
> > Actually, <i> in HTML5 is currently defined as having specific 
> > semantics:
> > 
> >    http://whatwg.org/specs/web-apps/current-work/#the-i
> So does "i" now stand for "instance", instead of "italics"?

At least until someone argues otherwise. :-) This is actually something 
that was first suggested back in 1997:


> > >  My favourite book is <a href="urn:isbn:0-735-71245-X">Eric Meyer on
> > >  CSS</a>.
> > 
> > What if there is no appropriate link, though?
> I don't know.

That's the problem. Would abusing <cite> for this be acceptable? Do we 
need another element?

> > Or when I can't be bothered to find out what the link is?
> Then you're just being lazy :-)

Like most HTML authors.

> > Also, there's nothing that distinguishes that <a> from other <a> 
> > elements,
> Sure there is:
> a[href^=urn:isbn:] { /* Styles for book titles */ }
> Although, that would depend on every book being linked with an ISBN URI, if
> they were all to recieve the same styles.

I don't particularly plan on ever linking to a urn:, since the likelihood 
of their being successfully dereferenced is extremely low. I don't think 
that's really a workable solution.

> > yet there is something very different about that one -- it's the title 
> > of another work. I'd like to be able to style all such titles 
> > consistently, so they have to be marked up in some way.
> In that case, would you want to differentiate between ordinary titles 
> and real citations?  Or is that something that the class attribute could 
> handle, if needed?

I don't know. What do people think?

> > Movie titles are similar. I'd like my UA to give me a tooltip 
> > containing information from IMDB for every movie title. With user 
> > JavaScript I can do this, if there's a way to recognise movie titles.
> Then would you want different markup for book titles, movie titles, play 
> titles, song titles, etc?  Or would you just expect the script to search 
> IMDB for anything marked up with <cite>?

Again, I don't really know. I could see a use case for a "type" attribute 
(as was suggested earlier in this thread), but that seems like a slippery 
slope. Suggestions?

Ian Hickson               U+1047E                )\._.,--....,'``.    fL
http://ln.hixie.ch/       U+263A                /,   _.. \   _\  ;`._ ,.
Things that are impossible just take longer.   `._.-(,_..'--(,_..'`-.;.'

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