[whatwg] De-emphasis

David Latapie david at empyree.org
Fri Feb 9 04:11:07 PST 2007

On Fri, 09 Feb 2007 12:58:35 +0200, Mikko Rantalainen wrote:
> Please, how do you implement these features with CSS? I hope you're 
> not suggesting to add a specialized code path to support just 
> emphasis and de-emphasis.
> I believe that <aside> and <small> are different from de-emphasis 
> (that would be <dem> IMHO). However, the <dem> element wouldn't be 
> that often used and it would be vital for it to be easily 
> implemented. A new element with specified semantics and a simple 
> default CSS style would be a nice choice. An example *implementation* 
> could be a single CSS rule:
> 	dem { opacity: 0.8 }
> How hard it would be to implement the behavior David described above? 
> Take any existing UA as a base.

By experience, opacity draws attention instead of the contrary (at 
least on small parts of text, which has the most chance to be 

Yesterday, I had an IM conversation with one of the person implicated 
in the conversation. It turned out pretty interesting. I changed my 
mind about <emph level="#">. I still consider it nice implementation, 
but I realise now it would not be good for HTML, as it would need a 
special rule - would we be creating a new language, I would have asked 
again for this, but, since this is not the case, I agree it is better 
the forget it.

So, here is how I see it now. We actually have different problems there.
1. em/strong is a gradient
2. we don't have opposite

1 is solved by deleting em or strong and nesting the remaining one 
<em><em> or <strong><strong> (if I understood nesting correctly)
em em {font-weight:bolder}

2 is solved by a <dem>-like tag (which could be nested too: <dem><dem>)

> And why do I think that <aside> and <small> are different from <dem>? 
> Because I think <aside> (or a footnote) is something you can safely 
> ignore and is usually orthogonal to the rest of the content. <small> 
> is something you usually skip but you must be aware of the content 
> (e.g. a copyright or license boilerplate) - the key here is that the 
> content is often repeated but if you have read it *once*, then you 
> may skip it later.

So, if I understanf you correctly, <small> is short for "important 
legalse-like SMALL-print" and not just "SMALL-text">, right?
</david_latapie>             U+0F00
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