[whatwg] The m element

James Graham jg307 at cam.ac.uk
Thu Feb 8 06:12:36 PST 2007

Lachlan Hunt wrote:
> Leons, you forgot to CC the list.
> Leons Petrazickis wrote:
>> Lachlan Hunt wrote:
>>> <m> is for highlighting text that is of some interest to the reader, 
>>> but it does not alter the meaning of the text itself.
>> Would you say that <em> is semantic and <m> is presentational, with 
>> the difference from <span>  is in default formatting?  Or is "meaning"
>>  not quite the right word -  is <m> like a highlighter in revision
>> change tracking, meant to be seen and then discarded?
> No, <m> does have semantics.  It marks a specific point of interest, as 
> you might do with a highlighter, it just doesn't alter the meaning of 
> the text itself.

A marker element certianly has a few use cases: marking syntax highlighting e.g. 
<m class="keyword">def</m> <m class="functionName>foo</m>; marking search terms 
identified on a page, marking parts of a document with an external annotation 
attached (though arguably this requires more sophisticated machinary). I believe 
  (though many including, I suspect, Hixie, would disagree) the real question is 
whether using <m> rather than span for these use cases enables useful features 
in general purpose UAs (e.g. a common aural styling, a way of presenting the 
information in aggregate form, etc.). I'm strugging to see that it does.

"Eternity's a terrible thought. I mean, where's it all going to end?"
  -- Tom Stoppard, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead

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