[whatwg] The m element

Martin Atkins mart at degeneration.co.uk
Thu Feb 8 10:43:20 PST 2007

Geoffrey Sneddon wrote:
> On 8 Feb 2007, at 15:23, Leons Petrazickis wrote:
>> In the Western world, the standard for highlighting is a neon yellow
>> background. I submit that a much better name for <m> is <hi>
>> (<hilite>, <highlite>, <highlight>). People don't necessarily mark
>> text much -- if anything, "mark" implies underlining, circling, and
>> drawing arrows -- but they do highlight. In university, I often saw
>> students perched with their notes and a highlighter, marking important
>> sections. The semantic meaning is to draw attention for later review.
> In my eyes such an element is presentational – a more generic element, 
> but one with semantic meaning, like <m> is far more relevant (although 
> it may well be a good idea to suggest it be rendered as highlighted).

The *meaning* is that the content is highlighted.
The concept of "highlighting" something is not presentational.

When I'm giving a speech, I can "highlight" a certain fact that my 
listeners might not have been aware of. (e.g. by saying "Allow me to 
highlight the fact that...")

"highlight" just means "draw attention to", which is exactly what 
Google's cache highlighting is trying to do, and what a student 
highlighting passages in a book is trying to do. The highlighting has no 
effect on the content, it's just a navigation aid.

While the presentation in graphical browsers would likely resemble that 
of paper — that is, a yellow background — an aural browser wouldn't draw 
attention to the mark as it is being read. It would hopefully instead 
allow a user to quickly skip between passages containing highlighted 
text much as sighted people do with their eyes as they scan over a page 
with highlighted text.

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