RE: Whitespace

Lou Montulli (
Wed, 12 Jan 94 14:02:19 CST

> Larry Masinter writes:
> > In reviewing the HTML design, try to keep in mind folks with an audio
> > interface, who expect the document to be read to them. There are lots
> > of ways to render a heading or a title in spoken language, and even a
> > way to render 'emphasis', and even varying degrees of emphasis.
> > However, it's very hard to render 'bold'.
> In using emphasis authors would like to be sure that a given set of
> emphasis tags will in fact be rendered differently on *ALL* browsers.
> The precise way these are differentiated will clearly depend on the
> characteristics of each browser, on dumb terminals email conventions
> could be used while on others color and font attributes can be used.
> Now, while we could use neutral names such as <HP0> <HP1> ... <HP4>
> most of us would prefer more meaningful names which convey the common
> interpretation. This explains why <B>, <I> etc are well liked.
> The problem with "logical" emphasis tags is there is no easy way of
> pulling together an effective small set. In my attempts to do so for
> HTML+, it rapidly became apparent that this is a bottomless pit.
> The set in the DTD provides just a few extras to those in HTML, perhaps
> leaning too far towards the needs of computer manuals. As for <EM> and
> <STRONG> these are ok for some purposes, but comprise too small a set.
> Dave Raggett
What about my suggestion at the WWW/TEI meeting to have 4-6 different
kinds of emphasis. For instance <em1>,<em2>... or <em a>, <em b>....
The different kinds wouldn't neccessarily be any kind of precedence
order but would simply specify DIFFERENT kinds of emphasis for each
of the tags. That way you could specify different words to be
emphasised and be sure that each emphasis style will be unique.

The problem is that there is only a limited number of ways to
show emphasis, especially on non graphical terminals, so if you
define 20+ kinds of logical emphasis they all get mapped to a
smaller set of physical styles. In many cases you could specify
two different logical emphasis and they will get rendered
EXACTLY the same. As a document writer it would be nice to be
able to know that text marked with different emphasis tags
will indeed be shown in a different styles. Specifying a
smaller set of somewhat logical emphasis tags that will have
unique physical renderings will solve this problem.


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