[Pmwiki-users] the descriptions of emphasis

John Rankin john.rankin
Thu Dec 2 14:13:26 CST 2004

On Friday, 3 December 2004 5:19 AM, Neil Herber <nospam at mail.eton.ca> wrote:
>At 2004-12-02  08:46 AM -0700, Patrick R. Michaud is rumored to have said:
>>Anyway, to get back to the original suggestion, I think my preference
>>would be to keep ''emphasis'' and '''strong''' as they are now, so that
>>there's still a way to write content structurally, and introduce
>>'/italic/' and '*bold*' for the <b> and <i> tags.

So what might one do for '/cite/' markup?

My strong preference is that those who wish to use <b> and <i> do so
as a local customisation. But I'm a standards bigot.

One of the great strengths of PmWiki is that it is standards compliant
and makes it easy for authors to implement good web practices, without
even knowing that they are doing so. As we move into the era where the 
web properly separates content from its presentation, it seems to me a
great leap backwards to introduce support for the <b> and <i> tags. 
As far as I can see, they will be dropped in XHTML2

While PmWiki favours writers over readers, we should remember that
using <em> and <strong> allows browsers for visually impaired readers
to convey the meaning through the way the text is spoken. This is 
surely what the documentation refers to when it says

  "doubled single-quotes is used for for emphasis (usually italics)"

A pedant (moi?) might argue that when writers use bold and italics,
they are performing a layout task, not a writing task.

Just as PmWiki doesn't try to replace HTML, perhaps it also doesn't
try to emulate the bad habits of word processors. As the LyX
documentation says:

  - Why is it called a word processor?
  - Well, you know what a food processor does to food?

Sorry, I got a bit carried away...
John Rankin

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