[whatwg] Web Forms 2.0 Feedback

James Graham jg307 at cam.ac.uk
Fri Jan 7 04:51:43 PST 2005

Matthew Thomas wrote:

> On 7 Jan, 2005, at 5:58 AM, Ian Hickson wrote:
>> ...
>> For <sub>, the ideal aural rendering depends on the context, but humans
>> are adept at interpreting things based on context and you could 
>> probably get away with rendering sub by simply prefixing its contents 
>> with the syllable "sub", as in "H sub-two O" for "H<sub>2</sub>O".
>> ...
>> the fact that you can use the element to sensibly change the aural 
>> rendering suggests to be that it is semantic enough to be kept in HTML.
> Except that "sub" is merely (an abbreviation of) a description of the 
> typographical presentation! 

Because that happens to be a convenient umbrella for specific 
constructions in documents that need to be treated in a particular way 
by UAs. Indeed I would be more than happy if Web Apps "clarified" the 
situation with <sup> and <sub> so that purely presentational uses like 
L<sup>A</sup>T<sub>E</sub>X were forbidden as these uses undermine the 
ability to UAs to provide an appropriate rendering in the case where the 
presence of "superscripts" or "subscripts" in a sequence of charcters is 
important information that needs to be passed on to the user.

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