[whatwg] Re: Are the semantic inline elements really useful?

James Graham jg307 at cam.ac.uk
Sun Sep 4 12:02:57 PDT 2005

Lachlan Hunt wrote:
> Henri Sivonen wrote:
>> Could the user interface difficulties with this semantic inline 
>> elements stem at least partly from problems with the semantic inline 
>> elements themselves?
> I don't think so.  I think it stems from the average person who thinks 
> about things presentationally and jumps straight from "what is the 
> content" to "how do I want it to look" and then marks that up.  The 
> problem is then compounded by poorly designed authoring tools that 
> encourage such practices.

What's the difference between a poorly designed element and one that 
doesn't fit the mental model of authors? If the second doesn't imply the 
first then can we reasonably expect authors to use the elements in the 
intended way? When designing  the spec  should we not consider the 
usability of the language to be a high priority? If people get things 
wrong all the time that, almost by definition, seems to imply poor 
usability, and hence poor design, no?

  "As soon as people come up with a measurable substitute for whatever 
it is they care about they start treating it as more important than the 
real thing"
-Boris Zbarsky

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