[whatwg] Presentational elements in Web Applications 1.0

Eugene T.S. Wong lists.eugenetswong at gmail.com
Tue Jan 17 12:42:55 PST 2006

On Tue, 17 Jan 2006 11:00:18 -0800, James Graham <jg307 at cam.ac.uk> wrote:

> Accepting mpt's argument for a moment, what is the semantic equivalent  
> of <center> or <big>?

<CENTER> would be the equivalent of <SECTION> or <DIV>.

> I suppose <big> is a bit like <h1> but surely we could just reintroduce  
> <font> and be done with it?

Well, font would have been used within good semantic markup, without CSS,  
whereas what I am proposing is to use it with CSS. So, with the old way,  
using <FONT> means extra markup, most likely with no extra semantics. With  
my suggested way, there would be the same amount of elements as well made  
documents, and less markup than what is practised now by experts.

> But you can't be suggesting that sites which employ the <font> tag are  
> superior to ones that use CSS?

No, definitely not.

> I mean, they load slower, usually use <font> tags instead of headings,  
> which reduces the readability and accessibility of the page and  
> generally have a negative impact.

Yes, generally.

However, just for the record, standards compliant pages don't  
automatically load faster.

> Whilst it is not implausible that a few select presentational elements  
> may improve the overall correct use of meaningful elements on the web,  
> history suggests that providing a raft of graphical presentational  
> elements at the markup-language level encourages the use of poor-quality  
> markup.

I agree with you on this.

However, I'd much rather that the non-experts misuse the non-semantic  
markup, than the semantic markup. An entire society can't even speak 1  
language consistently, let alone mark it up semantically.

Sincerely, and with thanks,
Eugene T.S. Wong

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