[whatwg] small element should allow nested elements

Remy Sharp remy at leftlogic.com
Sat Aug 15 04:08:03 PDT 2009

On 14 Aug 2009, at 10:09, Ian Hickson wrote:

> I wouldn't bother wrapping any of the above as small print. If you're
> structuring this enough that you have numbered lists and paragraphs  
> and
> everything, then it's either not small print, or it shouldn't be.

As Aryeh said, my experience has been the inverse, this is small  
print.  I've got the terms and conditions for a competition, which is  
small print for the whole thing.  Currently I'm manually wrapping  
every sentence in a small tag (as per my example).

For example, the BBC's web site is using the 62.5% rule, then by  
default pages are shown in 1.2em.  The exception being their terms  
pages, which overrides the font size to 1em in a terms.css style  
sheet.  This is because they want the text to appear as small print.

BBC Terms:

Random blog post on the BBC (most, if not all pages are the same font  

They're using CSS to visually create the small print effect on a large  
amount of text.  From my understanding of the HTML 5 spec, the right  
semantics to use is the small element, but if they used it on their  
existing terms page, in the way that the spec current outlines it  
would bloat the page with the extra nested small element.

Wrapping the entire block in small (or individual blocks) would be  
much more maintainable, and it would give the copy the right semantic  
meaning.  Is that correct?

> Allowing elements to wrap both inlines and blocks is a huge can of  
> worms
> which has caused all kinds of problems for <ins>, <del>, and <a>. I  
> really
> don't want to start adding more elements to this list of complexity.

Is there any record of these issues.  I know of 1 rendering issue that  
Firefox has with nesting the section element inside the a element (but  
I'm sure you're referring to previously solved issues).

I'd be happy to go through those issues and see if I can run tests  
against the small element through each of the browser engines to see  
if the issues still apply to small element.


Remy Sharp
Left Logic


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