[Pmwiki-users] the descriptions of emphasis

Neil Herber nospam
Thu Dec 2 08:21:16 CST 2004

Point taken. But if PmWiki is to favor writers over readers should the 
objective not be to have simple markup that is familiar to writers?

Saying "doubled single-quotes is used for for emphasis (usually italics)" 
seems a lot less writer-friendly to me than saying "doubled single-quotes 
produce italics". I don;t think it really matters what HTML code is finally 
emitted as long as the rendering is predictable. Telling a writer that they 
will "usually " get italics seems wrong.

Of possibly no importance at all, HTML tools like Adobe Golive CS have 
"bold" and "italic" buttons plainly visible on the toolbar and the code 
they emit is <b> and <i>. The emphasis and strong tags are buried two 
levels below the TYPE menu. I posted a 16kb screen shot here:


This suggests to me that even HTML authors will be inclined to use the 
deprecated markup. Mind you, some people think that *real* HTML authors use 
text editors and not fancy-schmancy things like Golive. ;->

At 2004-12-02  09:40 AM -0500, David Spitzley is rumored to have said:
>Well, I don't know how much work has been put into standards-compliance
>on PmWiki, but both <b> and <i> tags have been deprecated in current
>HTML standards, on the grounds that they are pure formating tags,
>whereas <em> and <strong> represent variations in meaning.  I don't
>think reintroducing deprecated tags is a particularly desirable move.
> >>> Neil Herber <nospam at mail.eton.ca> 12/2/2004 8:31:12 AM >>>
>PmWiki principle number 1 is "Favor writers over readers", and it goes
>to note that burdening writers with the minutia of HTML is
>With that principle in mind, I would suggest that the three modes of
>emphasis should be renamed, and the HTML that PmWiki emits should be
>changed. Anybody who has used a word processor knows about italics and
>bold, but the concept of "emphasis" is almost pure HTML.
>As far as I can tell, these changes should have absolutely no effect on
>user *unless* their browser settings or style sheets render the
>modes differently.
>Doubled single-quotes ('') usually render as italics but emit <em></em>
>Call this mode "italics" and emit <i></i>
>Tripled single-quotes (''') usually render as bold but emit
><strong></strong> tags
>Call this mode "bold" and emit <b></b>
>Five single-quotes (''''') usually render as bold italics but emit
><strong><em></em></strong> tags
>Call this mode "bold italics" and emit <b><i></i></b>
>These thoughts came to me when I noticed that the descriptions of these
>modes in the various Quick Reference proposals used the bold and italic
>nomenclature even though the HTML did not use <b> and <i> tags. The
>descriptions in the current PmWiki documentation are dead accurate. For
> >Use doubled single-quotes (''), i.e., two apostrophes, for emphasis
> >(usually italics)
>Neil Herber
>Corporate info at http://www.eton.ca/
>Eton Systems, 15 Pinepoint Drive, Nepean, ON, Canada K2H 6B1
>Tel: (613) 829-4668
>Pmwiki-users mailing list
>Pmwiki-users at pmichaud.com
>Pmwiki-users mailing list
>Pmwiki-users at pmichaud.com


Neil Herber
Corporate info at http://www.eton.ca/
Eton Systems, 15 Pinepoint Drive, Nepean, ON, Canada K2H 6B1
Tel: (613) 829-4668 

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