[whatwg] Web Forms 2.0 Feedback

Håkon Wium Lie howcome at opera.com
Fri Jan 7 03:42:54 PST 2005

Also sprach Matthew Thomas:

 > > When I read the arguments for <b> and <i>, I like to think of them as
 > > backwards-compatible synonyms for <strong> and <em>, respectively.
 > > Whether or not to keep <b> and <i> themselves is a choice of backwards
 > > compatibility over better-named semantic elements, IMO. But one must
 > > realize that they are just that--semantic elements (<strong> and <em>,
 > > that is).
 > That belief is widespread, but completely misinformed. <strong> and 
 > <em> have existed since the first HTML draft spec, right next to <b> 
 > and <i>. 

Almost, but not quite. The initial design did not include b/i or


Tim Berners-Lee commented on this issue in an early message:

  Comparing MIME's rich text and HTML, I see that we lack the
  characetr formatting attributes BOLD and ITALIC but on the other
  hand I feel that our treatment of logical heading levels and other
  structures is much more powerful and has turned out to provide more
  flexible formatting on different platforms than explicit
  semi-references to font sizes. This is born out by all the systems
  which use named styles in preference to explicit formatting, LaTeX
  or other macros instead of TeX, etc etc.


I quote this just to get history right, I'm not arguing any point.

 > HTML has always been a mixture of semantic elements for common 
 > semantics, and presentational elements for everything else. That 
 > combination has allowed it to remain both semantic enough for device 
 > independence and aggregation, and simple enough for popular use.


              Håkon Wium Lie                          CTO °þe®ª
howcome at opera.com                  http://people.opera.com/howcome

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