[whatwg] small element should allow nested elements

Smylers Smylers at stripey.com
Sat Aug 15 04:29:27 PDT 2009

Remy Sharp writes:

> 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.
> For example, the BBC's ...  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.
> BBC Terms:
> http://www.bbc.co.uk/terms/

That's an entire page of legalese.  The legalese is the point of the
page.  It doesn't need marking up in some way from the rest of the text
on the page because there isn't any such text.

> This is because they want the text to appear as small print.

CSS seems an entirely reasonable way of doing that.  If a CSS-less user
doesn't get the text delivered smaller no meaning is lost (since the
user reading that page is aware that it's all small print).  Ditto for a
listen whose speaking browser uses the normal voice for it.

Where <small> might be useful is another page which has a competition on
it (in regular sized text) followed by:

    <small>Terms and conditions apply.  For full details see the
    <a href="http://www.bbc.co.uk/terms/">standard BBC T&Cs.</a>.</small>

In that case the short amount of 'small print' is distinguished from the
surrounding text.  Visual users can see it as such; a speaking browser
could read it out faster.


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