Re: ACTION re: HTML 3: Too many tags!

James K. Tauber (
Wed, 26 Jul 95 19:33:40 EDT

On Wed, 26 Jul 1995, Ian Graham wrote:
> I do not agree. HTML has a history of being a semantic markup
> language, with legacy markup for physical rendering (B,I, TT, etc).
> Although this is not always popular, it serves an important use, allowing
> other document formats (RTF, PS, Word, etc) to be easily converted
> to HTML. If you eliminate B,I,TT -- and yes, S, U, BIG and SMALL you make
> this type of conversion extremely difficult, and in fact wrong -- to get
> the formatting you want you would have to arbitrarily assign semantic
> meaning to a string without knowing if that meaning is correct, or else
> drop the formatting information entirely. I therefore argue that
> these physical styles should be retained.

But what if they were to be made available, as some have suggested, via
attributes on (an)other element(s). This would allow for conversion but
would make specification of the physical appearance auxiliary rather than
it being the primary meaning of the element itself.

James K. Tauber <>
University Computing Services and Centre for Linguistics
University of Western Australia, Perth, AUSTRALIA