[whatwg] contenteditable, <em> and <strong>

fantasai fantasai.lists at inkedblade.net
Thu Jan 11 00:42:17 PST 2007

Henri Sivonen wrote:
> On Jan 10, 2007, at 11:40, fantasai wrote:
>> That depends, actually, on the language. Browsing the Chinese journal
>> section of a university East Asian Library, I noticed that the Chinese
>> journals didn't use normal/italics -- instead they switched the style of
>> font between their equivalents of serif and cursive.
> Isn't that a use case for reintroducing <font> with serif mapping to 
> mincho and sans-serif mapping to gothic? ;-)

No. It's a use case for the class attribute and style sheets. Style
sheets are *easier*, <font> tags are a *headache*.

>> They have other means of indicating emphasis: various underlining styles,
> Is there data on <u> usage on East Asian pages? Should HTML5 legitimize 
> <u>? (For Latin pages, a restyled <u> would be more compatible than <m>.)
>> bold,
> Seems like a case for keeping <b> around.

Bold is mainly used for headings. I haven't seen it used to mark phrases
inline, at least not in print.

>> (in Japanese) a switch to katakana,
> Wouldn't a normal Japanese writer enter the text as katakana into the 
> document content instead of requesting the UA to transform hiragana or 
> even kanji to katakana?

Inasmuch as an English user would enter UPPERCASE instead of using
text-transform, yes.

>> East Asian texts also don't use italics for works titles: they have a 
>> set of special punctuation for that.
> I hazard a guess that it is more straight-forward, practical and 
> compatible to enter that punctuation in the document content than to 
> restyle <cite> to insert the punctuation as generated content.

It also is more straight-forward, practical, and compatible
to enter quotes in the document content than to restyle <cite
class="article"> to generate curly quotes.

>> Restyling <i> the same way would just be silly.
> From a CSS perspective, there's no difference. If <em> and <i> were 
> defined to be semantically equivalent, there'd be no difference from the 
> semantic point of view either. That would leave the personal code 
> aesthetics that particular hand-coders associate with the identifiers 
> "em" and "i". If an author who control both markup and style chooses one 
> over the other, that's cool.

If you define <em> and <i> to be equal, then neither of them means "emphasis".
They both mean "italics". And a tag that means "italics" shouldn't, imho,
be restyled to something else because who knows what it's being used for.

> But that's still about site-wide styling. Is it too late for any of this 
> to have an impact on the UA style sheet?
> Would it be compatible with the Web to add the following to the UA style 
> sheets of visual browsers?
> em:lang(ja) {
>   font-style: normal;
>   text-emphasis: accent before;
> }
> em:lang(ja-Latn) {
>   font-style: italic;
>   text-emphasis: none;
> }

I have no idea. It would be an interesting experiment, I suppose, once
text-emphasis is supported in a web browser.

> If that would be compatible with the Web, would the following be?
> em:lang(ja), i:lang(ja) {
>   font-style: normal;
>   text-emphasis: accent before;
> }
> em:lang(ja-Latn), i:lang(ja-Latn) {
>   font-style: italic;
>   text-emphasis: none;
> }

Are you arguing that <i> should mean "emphasis" instead of "italics"?
If so, I disagree...


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