[whatwg] less than normal importance/emphasis
Jukka K. Korpela
jkorpela at cs.tut.fi
Tue Apr 15 06:10:51 PDT 2008
Leif Halvard Silli wrote:
> The draft currently says that <small> "represents small print".
That's just confusing. The expression "small print" is often used
figuratively to mean 'less important' _or_ 'less noticeable'. If you
don't mean either of them, don't use the phrase. Just say that <small>
indicates that the textual content be presented in a small font size.
That would be vague too, though in the same manner as the current spec.
A better formulation would be "be presented in a font size smaller than
that of the enclosing element".
This would be consistent with current browser practice, which many
existing pages rely on. Authoring style like
<h1>Main heading<br> <small>Subheading</small><h1>
is just fine. Don't break it. Tell any special browsers to implement the
way other browsers do. Don't tell them to treat <small> as "small
It might be appropriate to add, as an informal note, that <small> is
comparable to <font size="-1"> and to the CSS expression font-size:
smaller and these are typically implemented as a font size reduction by
the same amount. However, this is not guaranteed. (Or should it be?)
Moreover, browsers may treat <small> as different from other font size
settings in the sense that <small> takes effect even when told to ignore
font size settings on web pages. (That's what IE does, anyway.)
> I would at any rate say that the current definition doesn't differ
> very much from how it is now.
I'm afraid it does, and not in a positive direction.
Jukka K. Korpela ("Yucca")
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