[whatwg] Semantic styling languages in the guise of HTML attributes.

Benjamin Hawkes-Lewis bhawkeslewis at googlemail.com
Wed Dec 20 07:52:09 PST 2006

Henri Sivonen wrote:

> I think eschewing presentational features as a matter of principle  
> misses the point. The goal behind the principle is independence of  
> one client device or presentation media. A presentational feature can  
> be sufficiently independent of particular devices and media if it has  
> a reasonable presentations on all realistically relevant media.

But IMHO "independence of one client device or presentation media" is
not /the/ goal of eschewing presentational markup, but rather only one
such goal. It's trivial for a screen reader to report presentational
information such as <i/>. Disambiguation and ease of restyling are just
as important. The same presentation can mean multiple things. Semantic
markup disambiguates between <cite/>, <em/>, <dfn/>, and so on. This
helps with machine processing and human understanding. And if you want
to change italic citations to bold citations, then you don't have to
distinguish the citations from the non-citations by hand. You just put a
different rule into your stylesheet. 

Benjamin Hawkes-Lewis

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