[whatwg] Various HTML element feedback

Henri Sivonen hsivonen at iki.fi
Wed Jun 6 04:54:39 PDT 2012

On Wed, Jun 6, 2012 at 2:53 AM, Ian Hickson <ian at hixie.ch> wrote:
>> That might be realistic, especially there is no significant semantic
>> clarification in sight in general. This raises the question why we could
>> not just return to the original design with some physical markup like
>> <i>, <b>, and <u> together with <span> that was added later.
> I think you'll find the "original design" of HTML isn't what you think it
> is (or at least, it's certainly not as presentational as you imply above),
> but that's neither here nor there.

Is there a record of design between
>> So why not simply define <i> recommended and describe <var>, <cite>,
>> <em>, and <dfn> as deprecated but supported alternatives?
> What benefit does empty deprecation have? It's not like we can ever remove
> these elements altogether. What harm do they cause?

The harm is the wasted time spent worrying about and debating which
"semantic" alternative for italics to use.

> If we have to keep them, we are better served by embracing them and giving
> them renewed purpose and vigour, rather than being ashamed of them.

I think we have to keep them, because trying to declare them invalid
would cause people to do a lot of pointless work, too, but I think we
could still be ashamed of them.

> Note that as it is specified, <div> can be used instead of <p> with
> basically no loss of semantics. (This is because the spec defines
> "paragraph" in a way that doesn't depend on <p>.)

Is there any known example of a piece of software that needs to care
about the concept of "paragraph" and uses the rules given in the spec
for determining what constituted "paragraphs"?

Henri Sivonen
hsivonen at iki.fi

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