[thelist] replace <b> with <strong> (why dont use b tag)]

Adam Fahy afahy at earthlink.net
Wed Jul 31 12:29:00 CDT 2002

Mark Howells wrote:
 >> Question: Is <span> a "good" or "bad" element? I mean this less in
 >> the sense of "does it validate as XHTML" but more in the sense of
 >> "is it in the spirit of expressive markup".
 >> Should it be used only for visual styling where the actual semantic
 >> meaning is irrelevant, as in the Mad Magazine example? (great
 >> example, BTW)
 > Yes, or for the times when you'd like to apply a <span title="Pop-up
 > help text functionality in IE">tool-tip</span> to a piece of text
 > that has no structural meaning outside the browser.

I would argue that this is the exact *wrong* reason to use <span>.  IMO
<span> should be used as an inline element to which the developer gives
their own meaning (via .class), because nothing else is appropriate.
Lets take a look at your example above.  Hopefully you are not randomly
marking up and titling arbitrary passages in your document; there is a
/reason/ you've selected that specific passage, it has a /meaning/ that
is separate from its context.  Is it a keyword?  Is it a term?  Is it a
slogan or an aside?

If you really are randomly decorating passages of text, perhaps it's a
different story.  But at the same time, perhaps you should ask yourself
why you'd want your website to look like a ransom note?


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