[whatwg] Deprecating <small>, <b> ?

Pentasis pentasis at lavabit.com
Fri Nov 14 05:40:20 PST 2008

>>The small element represents small print [...]
>>>The b element represents a span of text to be stylistically offset from
>> the normal prose without conveying any extra importance [...]
>> Both definitions seems rather presentational (contrasting, for example,
>> the new semantic definition for the <i> element) and could also be
>> realized by use of <span> elements.
> Why use <span class="smallprint">Copyright (c) 2008 ?</span> instead
> of just <small>Copyright (c) 2008 ?</small>?  The latter possibility
> is way more semantic.
> And why use <span class="brand">Siemens</span> instead of just 
> <b>Siemens</b>?
> To me, the small and b elements ? especially the former ? make perfect 
> sense.
> -david

I agree with the original poster on this.

1) Just because it makes sense to a human (it doesn't to me), does not mean 
it makes sense to a machine.
2) When using <small> on different text-nodes throughout the document, one 
would expect all these text-nodes to be semantically the same. But they are 
not (unless all of them are copyright notices).
3) <small> is a styling element, it has zero semantic meaning, so it does 
not belong inside HTML.
4) <b>Siemens</b> also does not tell me anything about the semantics. Is it 
used as a name, a brand a foreign word ? etc. I cannot get that information 
from looking at the <b> element.


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