Hi Ash,

I want to clarify a couple points.

On Tue, May 10, 2011 at 2:27 PM, Ashley Sheridan

>  On Tue, 2011-05-10 at 13:46 -0400, Adam Richardson wrote:
> Hi Tedd,
> How's it going? I'm very pleased with the emphasis on accessibility you
> bring to the PHP list, but I do believe you're overstating a few points
> below.
> [Omitted for brevity]
> I've read this thread right through and I have to agree with Tedd. The new
> HTML5 spec might say it's fine to use <b> and <i> now for certain cases, but
> I still would use <strong> and <em> for the majority of those and other
> markup where else I could.

I posted because Ted said "First, never use <B> -- or <I> for that matter."
My objection was to that specific statement.

I don't think the spec says it is "fine to use <b> and <i> for certain", but
rather it points out appropriate uses of the tags given the (X)HTML5 spec.

> Consider the example which started this thread. It was merely to make part
> of a name bold. Here is how I probably would have marked it up to give it a
> semantic meaning:
> <span class="name">John <span class="surname">Smith</span></span>

We're not in disagreement here. I specifically pointed out that "You could
choose to use a span tag" in my example. Such would be perfectly acceptable.

The spec even says:

The b <http://dev.w3.org/html5/spec/Overview.html#the-b-element> element
> should be used as a last resort when no other element is more appropriate.
> In particular, headings should use the 
> h1<http://dev.w3.org/html5/spec/Overview.html#the-h1-h2-h3-h4-h5-and-h6-elements>
>  to 
> h6<http://dev.w3.org/html5/spec/Overview.html#the-h1-h2-h3-h4-h5-and-h6-elements>
>  elements,
> stress emphasis should use 
> theem<http://dev.w3.org/html5/spec/Overview.html#the-em-element> element,
> importance should be denoted with the 
> strong<http://dev.w3.org/html5/spec/Overview.html#the-strong-element> element,
> and text marked or highlighted should use the 
> mark<http://dev.w3.org/html5/spec/Overview.html#the-mark-element>
>  element.

There's a similar caveat for the <i> tag, too. That said, if I was going to
add the semantics you suggested, I'd probably use the hCard standard to
facilitate the acquisition of this meta information:

<div id="hcard-John-Robert-Smith" class="vcard">
 <span class="fn n">
  <span class="given-name">John</span>
  <span class="additional-name">Robert</span>
  <span class="family-name">Smith</span>

But it's here that we diverge I believe, as I believe that if I've exhausted
the alternatives, as in the case of the examples included in the spec, one
can appropriately use a <b> tag. And, I also see appropriate uses for the
<i> tag in light of the spec.

> Easy to style however I wanted, easy to read the code and infer the
> meaning, and I believe there are things out there which digest content and
> make rudimentary attempts to decipher the meaning from simple classes such
> as these. In-fact, it was from simple class definitions like these that led
> to the creation of the new tags in HTML5 such as <footer> and <nav>.

Absolutely right! Class names are very helpful. The spec even points out for
the <i> that:

Authors can use the
class<http://dev.w3.org/html5/spec/Overview.html#classes> attribute
> on the i <http://dev.w3.org/html5/spec/Overview.html#the-i-element> element
> to identify why the element is being used, so that if the style of a
> particular use (e.g. dream sequences as opposed to taxonomic terms) is to be
> changed at a later date, the author doesn't have to go through the entire
> document (or series of related documents) annotating each use.

And, I would also point out that it was these same classes that you noted
for footers and navs that lead to the change in the <b> and <i> tags.

I feel it's only a matter of time before more tags are added to the mix
> (within limits of course, we don't want to remember a list of a million tags
> every time we fire up our editors to create something!) to make things even
> more semantic. For me, accessibility is only a hop away from semantics, so I
> try to avoid what I consider "bad" markup wherever I can. Although, as
> others have said, what is bad is largely, in part, down to user preference.

I agree. That said, it sounds like we might differ in the perceived value of
the <b> and <i> tags for semantics and accessibility. When I read the
(X)HTML5 spec, especially for the <i> tag (see quoted text below), I see
great hope for improving the user experience of those using text-to-speech
software. I hear the speaker using different styles of speech to reflect
<em> tags, <strong> tags, AND <i> tags in ways that make me excited for the
future of accessibility. That is why I believe there are times for the
appropriate use of <b> and <i> tags.

The i <http://dev.w3.org/html5/spec/Overview.html#the-i-element> element
> represents <http://dev.w3.org/html5/spec/Overview.html#represents> a span
> of text in an alternate voice or mood, or otherwise offset from the normal
> prose in a manner indicating a different quality of text, such as a
> taxonomic designation, a technical term, an idiomatic phrase from another
> language, a thought, or a ship name in Western texts.

I'll sign off on this thread, sorry to trouble the list with such thick


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