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

Mikko Rantalainen mikko.rantalainen at peda.net
Tue Apr 19 02:23:11 PDT 2005

Henri Sivonen wrote:
> On Apr 18, 2005, at 17:31, Mikko Rantalainen wrote:
>>Henri Sivonen wrote:
>>>Some print newspapers and magazines bold the first occurrence (per 
>>>article) of each personal name. (Is it actually useful? Dunno.) [...]
>>I think that "bold" isn't really what magazines are looking for in 
>>your example case.
> Have you ever seen any other emphasis than bold in that case?

I've seen increased letter spacing instead of bolding and IIRC once 
or twice I've seen small caps in similar situation. All the current 
texts use bolding, though.

>>It's more like some kind of emphasize on first occurrence of person's 
>>name. I'd rather use <em>, somebody else might use <strong>.
> I do not believe the meaning of the bolding is strong emphasis in this 
> case. Emphasis perhaps but not particularly strong.

Yes, I think that emphasis is what they are looking for. The reason 
I suggested using <strong> is that newspapers do have methods for 
less emphasis than bold but they use that method anyway. For 
example, the increased letter spacing would be a nicer method for 
slight emphasis.

>>A web browser can do more.
> For example?

I meant that a web browser has other means for presenting emphasis 
than just bolding. It might use colors, for example, though the 
style author should be cautious not to rely on colors that may cause 
problems for some users. However, the amount of emphasis the first 
occurrence of a person's name should get is a slightly different 
text or background color than the rest of the text, IMHO.

In addition, a web browser has interactive UI so it can present 
emphasis in time axis as well. It could use blinking, for example. I 
think it could be used for strong emphasis inside a header, if such 
emphasis were really searched for.

That said, I agree that <b> and <i> can be used and shouldn't be 
avoided only "because they're presentational". But most of the time, 
<em> describes the semantics much better.

(I wish that we didn't have <strong>, just nested <em>s. It would be 
a little be simpler.)


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