[whatwg] Web Forms 2.0 Feedback

Matthew Thomas mpt at myrealbox.com
Thu Jan 6 07:46:27 PST 2005

On 7 Jan, 2005, at 3:57 AM, James Graham wrote:
> Matthew Thomas wrote:
>> Again, I know that <sup> and <sub> are (almost always) used to mean  
>> something, just like <b> and <i> are. But again, just as with <b> and 
>>  <i>, *a computer can't tell what you mean*.
> ...
> Of course the same is true with, say <li>. A computer can't tell 
> whether you mean a list of shopping, or a list or a list of links, or 
> a list of people who have offeneded you in the past month, or ...

A computer can tell that it's an item in a list, which is useful by 
itself <http://labs.google.com/sets>. In contrast, a computer can't 
tell anything at all about <sup> and <sub>.

> ...
> HTML by it's nature has weak semantics. That means that elements 
> should conatin some information ("this is a list not a set of 
> paragraphs", "these characters are superscripted and so not part of a 
> word") that the UA can use, as far as it is able, to provide an 
> appropriate interface to the document. It does not mean that every 
> element has to have a precidely defined meaning in the sense that you 
> criticise <sup> and <sub> for lacking.
> ...

Where did you get the idea that I was criticizing <sup> and <sub>? 
They're useful presentational elements, just like <b> and <i>.

Matthew Thomas

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