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

Peter Flynn (
Thu, 27 Jul 95 07:32:11 EDT

> Actually, what I find wrong about CODE is that it doesn't say what kind
> of code. The use of fixed-width, typewriter-style type for displaying
> code is the worst idiocy in common typographical practice.

I disagree strongly. I wouldn't like to count the number of times I've
had calls from users trying to follow examples in manuals which use
non-typewriter (or worse, mixed-font) faces for code samples. Typically
the users are in despair, saying "I'm trying to type in the example,
but every time I try to type a word in bold or italics, it won't let
me|rejects what I type|beeps at me". The assumption that users,
particularly novices, are capable of automatic interpretation of the
semantics of font usage in examples is, I'm afraid, wholly false. It
is utterly crucial that examples should be wholly unambiguous, even if
this does mean catering for the less able reader, and unfortunately
right now this means lowest-common-denominator fixed-width TTY.

> Code should
> be styled in a way appropriate to its language, which means you should
> etc.

Its use in a book designed for experienced users is perhaps justified.