[thelist] Difference between <strong> and <b>

Morbus Iff morbus at disobey.com
Mon May 21 14:00:54 CDT 2001

 >It's surprising, but I've been using HTML for a significant portion of
 >my life and I don't know the difference. I was reading the guidelines for
 >article submissions to Evolt, and it was talking about <strong> defining
 >structure and <b> defining style. The same went for <em> and <i> tags.

Think of three different situations:

  - a web browser.

  - a blind person.

  - a palm pilot.

"Bold" is a style - when you say "bold a word", people basically know that 
it means to add more ... .. "ink" around the letters until they stand out 
more amongst the rest of the letters.

That, unfortunately, means nothing to a blind person. And on Palm Pilot's 
and other PDA's, text is already bold because screen resolution is small 
enough to make squinting a pain in the ass. You can't bold a bold without 
screwing something up.

"Bold" is a style - we know what "bold" is supposed to look like.

"Strong" however is an indication of what something should look it. 
"Strong" could (and often does) mean "bold" in a browser, but it could also 
mean a lower tone for a speaking program like Jaws (for blind people). And 
strong on a Palm Pilot may be an underline (since you can't bold a bold).

A quick explanation, but hopefully understandable. "Bold" is a style. HTML 
was never meant to be about styles. Do some searches for "Tim Berners Lee" 
and "the semantic web". <strong> is semantic - it describes the text it 
surrounds ("this text should be stronger than the rest of the text you've 
displayed") as opposed to describing HOW the text it surrounds SHOULD BE 
DISPLAYED ("this text should be bold").

Morbus Iff
.sig on other machine.

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