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<em> vs.<i> and <strong> vs. <b>

P: n/a
I've started cleaning up my HTML and implementing CSS. So far I've
used FrontPage, but am switching over to DreamWeaver.

Reading a bit on W3Schools.com and W3.org I see there are a lot
of HTML code I never even knew existed. Among these are <em> and
<strong>. What's the difference between these two and <i> and <b>?

--
Torbjørn Pettersen
Editor/Webmaster
FantaFiction

www.fantafiction.com
Jul 20 '05 #1
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P: n/a
Torbjørn Pettersen wrote:

<em> and <strong>. What's the difference between these two
and <i> and <b>?


<i> carries no semantic meaning beyond "make this italicized"; if
italics are not available, there is no fallback rendering that I'm aware of

<b> carries no semantic meaning beyond "make this bold"; if bold is not
available, there is no fallback rendering that I'm aware of

<em> means emphasized text; certain browsers render emphasized text in
italics, though this is not required

<strong> means strongly emphasized text; certain browsers render
strongly emphasized text in bold, though this is not required

--
Brian (remove "invalid" from my address to email me)
http://www.tsmchughs.com/
Jul 20 '05 #2

P: n/a
Torbjørn Pettersen wrote:

<em> and <strong>. What's the difference between these two
and <i> and <b>?


<i> carries no semantic meaning beyond "make this italicized"; if
italics are not available, there is no fallback rendering that I'm aware of

<b> carries no semantic meaning beyond "make this bold"; if bold is not
available, there is no fallback rendering that I'm aware of

<em> means emphasized text; certain browsers render emphasized text in
italics, though this is not required

<strong> means strongly emphasized text; certain browsers render
strongly emphasized text in bold, though this is not required

--
Brian (remove "invalid" from my address to email me)
http://www.tsmchughs.com/
Jul 20 '05 #3

P: n/a
Torbjørn Pettersen <tpe AT broadpark DOT no> wrote:
Reading a bit on W3Schools.com and W3.org I see there are a lot
of HTML code I never even knew existed. Among these are <em> and
<strong>. What's the difference between these two and <i> and <b>?


Using <i> or <b> doesn't say anything about *why* you want italics or
boldface. It specifies only the presentation that you want.

In contrast, using <em>, <strong>, <cite>, <var>, etc. specifies a
structural meaning. And it's easier for browsers (or style sheet authors)
to use some other presentation for the structure when the typical default
presentation is inappropriate (or undesired).
--
Darin McGrew, mc****@stanfordalumni.org, http://www.rahul.net/mcgrew/
Web Design Group, da***@htmlhelp.com, http://www.HTMLHelp.com/

"Never ask a barber whether you need a haircut."
Jul 20 '05 #4

P: n/a
Torbjørn Pettersen <tpe AT broadpark DOT no> wrote:
Reading a bit on W3Schools.com and W3.org I see there are a lot
of HTML code I never even knew existed. Among these are <em> and
<strong>. What's the difference between these two and <i> and <b>?


Using <i> or <b> doesn't say anything about *why* you want italics or
boldface. It specifies only the presentation that you want.

In contrast, using <em>, <strong>, <cite>, <var>, etc. specifies a
structural meaning. And it's easier for browsers (or style sheet authors)
to use some other presentation for the structure when the typical default
presentation is inappropriate (or undesired).
--
Darin McGrew, mc****@stanfordalumni.org, http://www.rahul.net/mcgrew/
Web Design Group, da***@htmlhelp.com, http://www.HTMLHelp.com/

"Never ask a barber whether you need a haircut."
Jul 20 '05 #5

P: n/a
"Torbjørn Pettersen" <tpe AT broadpark DOT no> wrote:
Reading a bit on W3Schools.com and W3.org I see there are a lot
of HTML code I never even knew existed. Among these are <em> and
<strong>. What's the difference between these two and <i> and <b>?


<i> and <b> are purely presentational. How do you render "bold" using a
audio output browser? <em> and <strong> have meaning.

--
David Dorward <http://blog.dorward.me.uk/> <http://dorward.me.uk/>
Jul 20 '05 #6

P: n/a
"Torbjørn Pettersen" <tpe AT broadpark DOT no> wrote:
Reading a bit on W3Schools.com and W3.org I see there are a lot
of HTML code I never even knew existed. Among these are <em> and
<strong>. What's the difference between these two and <i> and <b>?


<i> and <b> are purely presentational. How do you render "bold" using a
audio output browser? <em> and <strong> have meaning.

--
David Dorward <http://blog.dorward.me.uk/> <http://dorward.me.uk/>
Jul 20 '05 #7

P: n/a
Darin McGrew wrote...
Using <i> or <b> doesn't say anything about *why* you want italics or
boldface. It specifies only the presentation that you want.

In contrast, using <em>, <strong>, <cite>, <var>, etc. specifies a
structural meaning. And it's easier for browsers (or style sheet authors)
to use some other presentation for the structure when the typical default
presentation is inappropriate (or undesired).


So, if I understand this right; <b> and <i> should be used purely when
I want text styles like a bold headline or italic foot notes?

I'm still not sure if I understand when and where to use <em> and <strong>.
Since English is not my mother tongue, I have some trouble understanding
the finer things here. ;-)

--
Torbjørn Pettersen
Editor/Webmaster
FantaFiction

www.fantafiction.com
Jul 20 '05 #8

P: n/a
Darin McGrew wrote...
Using <i> or <b> doesn't say anything about *why* you want italics or
boldface. It specifies only the presentation that you want.

In contrast, using <em>, <strong>, <cite>, <var>, etc. specifies a
structural meaning. And it's easier for browsers (or style sheet authors)
to use some other presentation for the structure when the typical default
presentation is inappropriate (or undesired).


So, if I understand this right; <b> and <i> should be used purely when
I want text styles like a bold headline or italic foot notes?

I'm still not sure if I understand when and where to use <em> and <strong>.
Since English is not my mother tongue, I have some trouble understanding
the finer things here. ;-)

--
Torbjørn Pettersen
Editor/Webmaster
FantaFiction

www.fantafiction.com
Jul 20 '05 #9

P: n/a

"Torbjørn Pettersen" <tpe AT broadpark DOT no> wrote in message
news:40********@news.broadpark.no...
Darin McGrew wrote...
Using <i> or <b> doesn't say anything about *why* you want italics or
boldface. It specifies only the presentation that you want.

In contrast, using <em>, <strong>, <cite>, <var>, etc. specifies a
structural meaning. And it's easier for browsers (or style sheet authors) to use some other presentation for the structure when the typical default presentation is inappropriate (or undesired).
So, if I understand this right; <b> and <i> should be used purely when
I want text styles like a bold headline or italic foot notes?


It's better not to use them at all. It is best to use HTML to describe the
function of the different parts of a document--for example, to say, "this
text should be emphasized"--and to use CSS when you want to ask the browser
to provide an appearance that might be different from its default. On most
browsers the default appearance for <em> probably IS italic, and bold for
<strong>.

I'm still not sure if I understand when and where to use <em> and <strong>. Since English is not my mother tongue, I have some trouble understanding
the finer things here. ;-)

--
Torbjørn Pettersen
Editor/Webmaster
FantaFiction

www.fantafiction.com


Jul 20 '05 #10

P: n/a

"Torbjørn Pettersen" <tpe AT broadpark DOT no> wrote in message
news:40********@news.broadpark.no...
Darin McGrew wrote...
Using <i> or <b> doesn't say anything about *why* you want italics or
boldface. It specifies only the presentation that you want.

In contrast, using <em>, <strong>, <cite>, <var>, etc. specifies a
structural meaning. And it's easier for browsers (or style sheet authors) to use some other presentation for the structure when the typical default presentation is inappropriate (or undesired).
So, if I understand this right; <b> and <i> should be used purely when
I want text styles like a bold headline or italic foot notes?


It's better not to use them at all. It is best to use HTML to describe the
function of the different parts of a document--for example, to say, "this
text should be emphasized"--and to use CSS when you want to ask the browser
to provide an appearance that might be different from its default. On most
browsers the default appearance for <em> probably IS italic, and bold for
<strong>.

I'm still not sure if I understand when and where to use <em> and <strong>. Since English is not my mother tongue, I have some trouble understanding
the finer things here. ;-)

--
Torbjørn Pettersen
Editor/Webmaster
FantaFiction

www.fantafiction.com


Jul 20 '05 #11

P: n/a
David Dorward <do*****@yahoo.com> writes:
<i> and <b> are purely presentational. How do you render "bold"
using a audio output browser?
How do you render "strong" using an audio output browser?

To render "b" with an audio output browser, the notion "bold"
has be "interpret" or "translated" into a sound rule. The
same interpretation has happen for "strong".
<em> and <strong> have meaning.


"i" and "b" have meaning, too. Just a different meaning.

Their meaning is given in the HTML 4.0 Specification.

Jul 20 '05 #12

P: n/a
David Dorward <do*****@yahoo.com> writes:
<i> and <b> are purely presentational. How do you render "bold"
using a audio output browser?
How do you render "strong" using an audio output browser?

To render "b" with an audio output browser, the notion "bold"
has be "interpret" or "translated" into a sound rule. The
same interpretation has happen for "strong".
<em> and <strong> have meaning.


"i" and "b" have meaning, too. Just a different meaning.

Their meaning is given in the HTML 4.0 Specification.

Jul 20 '05 #13

P: n/a
Stefan Ram wrote:
David Dorward <do*****@yahoo.com> writes:
<i> and <b> are purely presentational. How do you render "bold"
using a audio output browser?
How do you render "strong" using an audio output browser?


Possibly by slowing down and increasing the volume.
To render "b" with an audio output browser, the notion "bold"
has be "interpret" or "translated" into a sound rule.
You can only guess at the intended meaning behind the use of bold text and
translate that guess into an aural rule.
The same interpretation has happen for "strong".


Only if you guess that <b> means stronger emphasis.
<em> and <strong> have meaning.


"i" and "b" have meaning, too. Just a different meaning.


They don't say anything about the content, only the way it should be
(visibly) rendered.

--
David Dorward <http://blog.dorward.me.uk/> <http://dorward.me.uk/>
Jul 20 '05 #14

P: n/a
Stefan Ram wrote:
David Dorward <do*****@yahoo.com> writes:
<i> and <b> are purely presentational. How do you render "bold"
using a audio output browser?
How do you render "strong" using an audio output browser?


Possibly by slowing down and increasing the volume.
To render "b" with an audio output browser, the notion "bold"
has be "interpret" or "translated" into a sound rule.
You can only guess at the intended meaning behind the use of bold text and
translate that guess into an aural rule.
The same interpretation has happen for "strong".


Only if you guess that <b> means stronger emphasis.
<em> and <strong> have meaning.


"i" and "b" have meaning, too. Just a different meaning.


They don't say anything about the content, only the way it should be
(visibly) rendered.

--
David Dorward <http://blog.dorward.me.uk/> <http://dorward.me.uk/>
Jul 20 '05 #15

P: n/a
On Mon, 12 Apr 2004, Darin McGrew wrote:
Using <i> or <b> doesn't say anything about *why* you want italics or
boldface. It specifies only the presentation that you want.
When used by a conscientious author, it certainly _does_ say something
(negative) about the reason: if the author uses <i>, then it's for
some reason *other* than emphasis <em>, citation <cite>, variable
<var>, or any other logical markup which -might- be rendered in
italics. Maybe it's for a latin phrase (<i>sine die</i>), or a
species, neither of which have specific HTML markups.

Similarly if <b> is (properly) used it's not for strong emphasis.
Maybe it's for a volume of an academic journal (which by convention
are shown in bold, and for which there's no specific HTML markup).
In contrast, using <em>, <strong>, <cite>, <var>, etc. specifies a
structural meaning. And it's easier for browsers (or style sheet authors)
to use some other presentation for the structure when the typical default
presentation is inappropriate (or undesired).


Just so.
Jul 20 '05 #16

P: n/a
On Mon, 12 Apr 2004, Darin McGrew wrote:
Using <i> or <b> doesn't say anything about *why* you want italics or
boldface. It specifies only the presentation that you want.
When used by a conscientious author, it certainly _does_ say something
(negative) about the reason: if the author uses <i>, then it's for
some reason *other* than emphasis <em>, citation <cite>, variable
<var>, or any other logical markup which -might- be rendered in
italics. Maybe it's for a latin phrase (<i>sine die</i>), or a
species, neither of which have specific HTML markups.

Similarly if <b> is (properly) used it's not for strong emphasis.
Maybe it's for a volume of an academic journal (which by convention
are shown in bold, and for which there's no specific HTML markup).
In contrast, using <em>, <strong>, <cite>, <var>, etc. specifies a
structural meaning. And it's easier for browsers (or style sheet authors)
to use some other presentation for the structure when the typical default
presentation is inappropriate (or undesired).


Just so.
Jul 20 '05 #17

P: n/a
David Dorward <do*****@yahoo.com> writes:
How do you render "strong" using an audio output browser?

Possibly by slowing down and increasing the volume.
To render "b" with an audio output browser, the notion "bold"
has be "interpret" or "translated" into a sound rule.

You can only guess at the intended meaning behind the use of bold text and
translate that guess into an aural rule.


How "strong emphasis" has to be represented by voice also has
to be guessed. To emphasize a word, people sometimes decrease
the volume.
"i" and "b" have meaning, too. Just a different meaning.

They don't say anything about the content, only the way it should be
(visibly) rendered.


I just looked it up in the HTML 4.0 Specification and found
that you are right: It really does not say anything about "i"
and "b", except "Rendering of font style elements depends on
the user agent." (An description following is only
"informative" - I believe this means "not normative"). So I
have to modify my previous sentence: They really have no
meaning in HTML 4.0.
Jul 20 '05 #18

P: n/a
David Dorward <do*****@yahoo.com> writes:
How do you render "strong" using an audio output browser?

Possibly by slowing down and increasing the volume.
To render "b" with an audio output browser, the notion "bold"
has be "interpret" or "translated" into a sound rule.

You can only guess at the intended meaning behind the use of bold text and
translate that guess into an aural rule.


How "strong emphasis" has to be represented by voice also has
to be guessed. To emphasize a word, people sometimes decrease
the volume.
"i" and "b" have meaning, too. Just a different meaning.

They don't say anything about the content, only the way it should be
(visibly) rendered.


I just looked it up in the HTML 4.0 Specification and found
that you are right: It really does not say anything about "i"
and "b", except "Rendering of font style elements depends on
the user agent." (An description following is only
"informative" - I believe this means "not normative"). So I
have to modify my previous sentence: They really have no
meaning in HTML 4.0.
Jul 20 '05 #19

P: n/a
Stefan Ram wrote:
How "strong emphasis" has to be represented by voice also has
to be guessed.


In the absence of an aural style sheet, that is true, however:

<b> - guess what the author intended the use of bold text to indicate then
decide how to present that to the user.

<strong> - decide how to present strong emphasis to the user.

The presentation is variable under either circumstance, but the meaning is
only explicit in <strong>.
--
David Dorward <http://blog.dorward.me.uk/> <http://dorward.me.uk/>
Jul 20 '05 #20

P: n/a
Stefan Ram wrote:
How "strong emphasis" has to be represented by voice also has
to be guessed.


In the absence of an aural style sheet, that is true, however:

<b> - guess what the author intended the use of bold text to indicate then
decide how to present that to the user.

<strong> - decide how to present strong emphasis to the user.

The presentation is variable under either circumstance, but the meaning is
only explicit in <strong>.
--
David Dorward <http://blog.dorward.me.uk/> <http://dorward.me.uk/>
Jul 20 '05 #21

P: n/a
Torbjørn Pettersen <tpe AT broadpark DOT no> wrote:
So, if I understand this right; <b> and <i> should be used purely
when I want text styles like a bold headline or italic foot notes?
In those occasions you should (probably) use CSS.

Jukka Korpela writes about situations where i and b can be used in
<http://groups.google.com/groups?hl=s...UTF-8&c2coff=1
&safe=off&selm=Xns9462AB7DC8D0jkorpelacstutfi%4019 3.229.0.31>
I'm still not sure if I understand when and where to use <em> and
<strong>.


Use them when you want some text to be emphasized, i.e. more important.
Example:
I <strong>really</strong> like it.

--
David Håsäther
Jul 20 '05 #22

P: n/a
Torbjørn Pettersen <tpe AT broadpark DOT no> wrote:
So, if I understand this right; <b> and <i> should be used purely
when I want text styles like a bold headline or italic foot notes?
In those occasions you should (probably) use CSS.

Jukka Korpela writes about situations where i and b can be used in
<http://groups.google.com/groups?hl=s...UTF-8&c2coff=1
&safe=off&selm=Xns9462AB7DC8D0jkorpelacstutfi%4019 3.229.0.31>
I'm still not sure if I understand when and where to use <em> and
<strong>.


Use them when you want some text to be emphasized, i.e. more important.
Example:
I <strong>really</strong> like it.

--
David Håsäther
Jul 20 '05 #23

P: n/a
"David Håsäther" <ha******@msn.com> wrote in message
news:Xn***************************@195.67.237.51.. .
I'm still not sure if I understand when and where to use <em> and
<strong>.


Use them when you want some text to be emphasized, i.e. more important.
Example:
I <strong>really</strong> like it.


I would more inclined to use <em>really</em> instead for emphasized text.
So the OP may <em>still</em> be in a quandary about which to choose.

Jul 20 '05 #24

P: n/a
"David Håsäther" <ha******@msn.com> wrote in message
news:Xn***************************@195.67.237.51.. .
I'm still not sure if I understand when and where to use <em> and
<strong>.


Use them when you want some text to be emphasized, i.e. more important.
Example:
I <strong>really</strong> like it.


I would more inclined to use <em>really</em> instead for emphasized text.
So the OP may <em>still</em> be in a quandary about which to choose.

Jul 20 '05 #25

P: n/a
DU
Brian wrote:
Torbjørn Pettersen wrote:

<em> and <strong>. What's the difference between these two
and <i> and <b>?

<i> carries no semantic meaning beyond "make this italicized"; if
italics are not available, there is no fallback rendering that I'm aware of

<b> carries no semantic meaning beyond "make this bold"; if bold is not
available, there is no fallback rendering that I'm aware of

<em> means emphasized text; certain browsers render emphasized text in
italics, though this is not required

<strong> means strongly emphasized text; certain browsers render
strongly emphasized text in bold, though this is not required


What you wrote is correct and exact. But your description fits only
visual browsers. The advantage of <em> over <i> and <strong> over <b>
for visual and speech browsers is that those <em> and <strong> elements
are more interoperable across media.

"Speech synthesizer user agents may change the synthesis parameters,
such as volume, pitch and rate accordingly."
http://www.w3.org/TR/html401/struct/...ml#edef-STRONG

You can style the elements as you wish. E.g.:

<style type="text/css" media="aural, projection, screen, tv">
em {stress: 70%; richness: 60%; volume: loud; font-style: italic}
strong {stress: 80%; richness: 75%; volume: x-loud; font-weight: bolder;}
</style>

If a speech synthetizer browser does not support CSS (unlikely), then it
will still be able to emphasis text inside <em> tags and inside <strong>
tags.

DU
Jul 20 '05 #26

P: n/a
DU
Brian wrote:
Torbjørn Pettersen wrote:

<em> and <strong>. What's the difference between these two
and <i> and <b>?

<i> carries no semantic meaning beyond "make this italicized"; if
italics are not available, there is no fallback rendering that I'm aware of

<b> carries no semantic meaning beyond "make this bold"; if bold is not
available, there is no fallback rendering that I'm aware of

<em> means emphasized text; certain browsers render emphasized text in
italics, though this is not required

<strong> means strongly emphasized text; certain browsers render
strongly emphasized text in bold, though this is not required


What you wrote is correct and exact. But your description fits only
visual browsers. The advantage of <em> over <i> and <strong> over <b>
for visual and speech browsers is that those <em> and <strong> elements
are more interoperable across media.

"Speech synthesizer user agents may change the synthesis parameters,
such as volume, pitch and rate accordingly."
http://www.w3.org/TR/html401/struct/...ml#edef-STRONG

You can style the elements as you wish. E.g.:

<style type="text/css" media="aural, projection, screen, tv">
em {stress: 70%; richness: 60%; volume: loud; font-style: italic}
strong {stress: 80%; richness: 75%; volume: x-loud; font-weight: bolder;}
</style>

If a speech synthetizer browser does not support CSS (unlikely), then it
will still be able to emphasis text inside <em> tags and inside <strong>
tags.

DU
Jul 20 '05 #27

P: n/a
ra*@zedat.fu-berlin.de (Stefan Ram) wrote:
David Dorward <do*****@yahoo.com> writes:
How do you render "strong" using an audio output browser?
Possibly by slowing down and increasing the volume. To render "b"
with an audio output browser, the notion "bold" has be
"interpret" or "translated" into a sound rule.You can only guess at the intended meaning behind the use of bold
text and translate that guess into an aural rule.


How "strong emphasis" has to be represented by voice also has
to be guessed.


No, it can be defined by the user agent. There's a little confusion here,
because David's formulation wasn't 100% correct.

In fact, from a logical point of view, <b> markup shall _not_ be rendered
in any specific way by a speech browser, except perhaps verbally
indicating bolding ("the following is in bold face... end of bolding",
perhaps?). It's comparable to <font color="green">. In speech, you either
ignore it, or you express in words that the text is meant to be green.
Similarly, if there were an element that specifies lower tone of voice, a
visual browser should either ignore it or present some text (or maybe
symbol) indicating low tone of voice. (Of course, a style sheet could
change all this. I'm discussing what user agents should do with HTML
markup when not instructed to act otherwise.)

In practice, <b> so often means strong emphasis that it is understandable
that speech based user agents may interpret it that way. But I don't
think it's a winning proposition. Authors have _also_ used <b> just for
bolding since they think that all of their text should appear in bold
face for some other reason.
To emphasize a word, people sometimes decrease
the volume.
Yes, possibly. And I've read that in Chinese writing, emphasis is
indicated by reducing font size (though I suspect there are other ways
too - but italics and bold are probably not among them).
I just looked it up in the HTML 4.0 Specification and found
that you are right: It really does not say anything about "i"
and "b", except "Rendering of font style elements depends on
the user agent." (An description following is only
"informative" - I believe this means "not normative").


Taken very literally, you're right. But if you take the HTML 4.0 (or HTML
4.01) very literally, you will find the entire HTML language very vaguely
defined - and those parts that are (or appear to be) well-defined might
turn out to be those that haven't actually been implemented (like the
handwaving about HTML as an SGML application).

It would certainly be incorrect if a browser by default rendered
<big> as 9px text and <small> as 36px text or <strike> as underlined and
<u> as blinking red with no underline, although a very literal
interpretation of the spec would seem to say that this is quite OK,
it just uses the liberties given and violates no normative statement.

For all practical purposes, <b> _means_ bolding and <i> _means_ italics.
The details, like the actual weight using in bolding (which typically
corresponds to font-weight: bold but could be something else) and the
detailed meaning of italics (which is in practice often just _slanting_,
not true italics) may vary a lot.

--
Yucca, http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/
Pages about Web authoring: http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/www.html

Jul 20 '05 #28

P: n/a
ra*@zedat.fu-berlin.de (Stefan Ram) wrote:
David Dorward <do*****@yahoo.com> writes:
How do you render "strong" using an audio output browser?
Possibly by slowing down and increasing the volume. To render "b"
with an audio output browser, the notion "bold" has be
"interpret" or "translated" into a sound rule.You can only guess at the intended meaning behind the use of bold
text and translate that guess into an aural rule.


How "strong emphasis" has to be represented by voice also has
to be guessed.


No, it can be defined by the user agent. There's a little confusion here,
because David's formulation wasn't 100% correct.

In fact, from a logical point of view, <b> markup shall _not_ be rendered
in any specific way by a speech browser, except perhaps verbally
indicating bolding ("the following is in bold face... end of bolding",
perhaps?). It's comparable to <font color="green">. In speech, you either
ignore it, or you express in words that the text is meant to be green.
Similarly, if there were an element that specifies lower tone of voice, a
visual browser should either ignore it or present some text (or maybe
symbol) indicating low tone of voice. (Of course, a style sheet could
change all this. I'm discussing what user agents should do with HTML
markup when not instructed to act otherwise.)

In practice, <b> so often means strong emphasis that it is understandable
that speech based user agents may interpret it that way. But I don't
think it's a winning proposition. Authors have _also_ used <b> just for
bolding since they think that all of their text should appear in bold
face for some other reason.
To emphasize a word, people sometimes decrease
the volume.
Yes, possibly. And I've read that in Chinese writing, emphasis is
indicated by reducing font size (though I suspect there are other ways
too - but italics and bold are probably not among them).
I just looked it up in the HTML 4.0 Specification and found
that you are right: It really does not say anything about "i"
and "b", except "Rendering of font style elements depends on
the user agent." (An description following is only
"informative" - I believe this means "not normative").


Taken very literally, you're right. But if you take the HTML 4.0 (or HTML
4.01) very literally, you will find the entire HTML language very vaguely
defined - and those parts that are (or appear to be) well-defined might
turn out to be those that haven't actually been implemented (like the
handwaving about HTML as an SGML application).

It would certainly be incorrect if a browser by default rendered
<big> as 9px text and <small> as 36px text or <strike> as underlined and
<u> as blinking red with no underline, although a very literal
interpretation of the spec would seem to say that this is quite OK,
it just uses the liberties given and violates no normative statement.

For all practical purposes, <b> _means_ bolding and <i> _means_ italics.
The details, like the actual weight using in bolding (which typically
corresponds to font-weight: bold but could be something else) and the
detailed meaning of italics (which is in practice often just _slanting_,
not true italics) may vary a lot.

--
Yucca, http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/
Pages about Web authoring: http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/www.html

Jul 20 '05 #29

P: n/a
"Jukka K. Korpela" <jk******@cs.tut.fi> writes:
In practice, <b> so often means strong emphasis that it is understandable
that speech based user agents may interpret it that way. But I don't
think it's a winning proposition. Authors have _also_ used <b> just for
bolding since they think that all of their text should appear in bold
face for some other reason.


It might also be used to highlight words, so that the eye can
easily catch certain words when browsing over a text.

When text is read, browsing in this way is not possible, so it
makes sense, to ignore the bold face in this case.

Jul 20 '05 #30

P: n/a
"Jukka K. Korpela" <jk******@cs.tut.fi> writes:
In practice, <b> so often means strong emphasis that it is understandable
that speech based user agents may interpret it that way. But I don't
think it's a winning proposition. Authors have _also_ used <b> just for
bolding since they think that all of their text should appear in bold
face for some other reason.


It might also be used to highlight words, so that the eye can
easily catch certain words when browsing over a text.

When text is read, browsing in this way is not possible, so it
makes sense, to ignore the bold face in this case.

Jul 20 '05 #31

P: n/a
DU <dr*******@hotWIPETHISmail.com> wrote:
<style type="text/css" media="aural, projection, screen, tv">
em {stress: 70%; richness: 60%; volume: loud; font-style: italic}
strong {stress: 80%; richness: 75%; volume: x-loud; font-weight: bolder;}
</style>

If a speech synthetizer browser does not support CSS (unlikely)


Correction: likely. There is only one obscure speech browser that
supports aural css (emacspeak).

--
Spartanicus
Jul 20 '05 #32

P: n/a
DU <dr*******@hotWIPETHISmail.com> wrote:
<style type="text/css" media="aural, projection, screen, tv">
em {stress: 70%; richness: 60%; volume: loud; font-style: italic}
strong {stress: 80%; richness: 75%; volume: x-loud; font-weight: bolder;}
</style>

If a speech synthetizer browser does not support CSS (unlikely)


Correction: likely. There is only one obscure speech browser that
supports aural css (emacspeak).

--
Spartanicus
Jul 20 '05 #33

P: n/a
DU wrote:
Brian wrote:
Torbjørn Pettersen wrote:
<em> and <strong>. What's the difference between these two
and <i> and <b>?
<i> carries no semantic meaning beyond "make this italicized"

<b> carries no semantic meaning beyond "make this bold"

<em> means emphasized text; certain browsers render emphasized text
in italics, though this is not required

<strong> means strongly emphasized text; certain browsers render
strongly emphasized text in bold, though this is not required


What you wrote is correct and exact. But your description fits only
visual browsers.


That's why I wrote "some browsers."
The advantage of <em> over <i> and <strong> over <b>
for visual and speech browsers is that those <em> and <strong> elements
are more interoperable across media.
I didn't say otherwise, did I? I mentioned the behavior of certain
browsers which matches what likely provoked the op's question. I didn't
mean to imply that HTML is only appropriate for visual browsers.
If a speech synthetizer browser does not support CSS (unlikely), then it
will still be able to emphasis text inside <em> tags and inside <strong>
tags.


As I wrote, <i> carries no semantic meaning (beyond italics), while <em>
*means* emphasized.... I assume every reasonably conforming ua will do
something useful and appropriate with standard markup like <em>,
<strong>, etc.

--
Brian (remove "invalid" from my address to email me)
http://www.tsmchughs.com/
Jul 20 '05 #34

P: n/a
DU wrote:
Brian wrote:
Torbjørn Pettersen wrote:
<em> and <strong>. What's the difference between these two
and <i> and <b>?
<i> carries no semantic meaning beyond "make this italicized"

<b> carries no semantic meaning beyond "make this bold"

<em> means emphasized text; certain browsers render emphasized text
in italics, though this is not required

<strong> means strongly emphasized text; certain browsers render
strongly emphasized text in bold, though this is not required


What you wrote is correct and exact. But your description fits only
visual browsers.


That's why I wrote "some browsers."
The advantage of <em> over <i> and <strong> over <b>
for visual and speech browsers is that those <em> and <strong> elements
are more interoperable across media.
I didn't say otherwise, did I? I mentioned the behavior of certain
browsers which matches what likely provoked the op's question. I didn't
mean to imply that HTML is only appropriate for visual browsers.
If a speech synthetizer browser does not support CSS (unlikely), then it
will still be able to emphasis text inside <em> tags and inside <strong>
tags.


As I wrote, <i> carries no semantic meaning (beyond italics), while <em>
*means* emphasized.... I assume every reasonably conforming ua will do
something useful and appropriate with standard markup like <em>,
<strong>, etc.

--
Brian (remove "invalid" from my address to email me)
http://www.tsmchughs.com/
Jul 20 '05 #35

P: n/a
DU
Brian wrote:
DU wrote:
Brian wrote:
Torbjørn Pettersen wrote:

<em> and <strong>. What's the difference between these two
and <i> and <b>?
<i> carries no semantic meaning beyond "make this italicized"

<b> carries no semantic meaning beyond "make this bold"

<em> means emphasized text; certain browsers render emphasized text
in italics, though this is not required

<strong> means strongly emphasized text; certain browsers render
strongly emphasized text in bold, though this is not required

What you wrote is correct and exact. But your description fits only
visual browsers.

That's why I wrote "some browsers."


Ok. I did not try to contradict your post; I was more in the mood of
completing your post with more data.
The advantage of <em> over <i> and <strong> over <b> for visual and
speech browsers is that those <em> and <strong> elements are more
interoperable across media.

I didn't say otherwise, did I?


No, you did not say otherwise. And I did say what you wrote was correct
and exact :)

I mentioned the behavior of certain browsers which matches what likely provoked the op's question. I didn't
mean to imply that HTML is only appropriate for visual browsers.
If a speech synthetizer browser does not support CSS (unlikely), then
it will still be able to emphasis text inside <em> tags and inside
<strong> tags.

As I wrote, <i> carries no semantic meaning (beyond italics), while <em>
*means* emphasized.... I assume every reasonably conforming ua will do
something useful and appropriate with standard markup like <em>,
<strong>, etc.


Correct. That is why <em> and <strong> have been considered as more
appropriate, meaningful elements for HTML. Since HTML was designed to be
device and media independent, then <b> and <i> are mostly for visual media.

Best regards :)

DU
Jul 20 '05 #36

P: n/a
DU
Brian wrote:
DU wrote:
Brian wrote:
Torbjørn Pettersen wrote:

<em> and <strong>. What's the difference between these two
and <i> and <b>?
<i> carries no semantic meaning beyond "make this italicized"

<b> carries no semantic meaning beyond "make this bold"

<em> means emphasized text; certain browsers render emphasized text
in italics, though this is not required

<strong> means strongly emphasized text; certain browsers render
strongly emphasized text in bold, though this is not required

What you wrote is correct and exact. But your description fits only
visual browsers.

That's why I wrote "some browsers."


Ok. I did not try to contradict your post; I was more in the mood of
completing your post with more data.
The advantage of <em> over <i> and <strong> over <b> for visual and
speech browsers is that those <em> and <strong> elements are more
interoperable across media.

I didn't say otherwise, did I?


No, you did not say otherwise. And I did say what you wrote was correct
and exact :)

I mentioned the behavior of certain browsers which matches what likely provoked the op's question. I didn't
mean to imply that HTML is only appropriate for visual browsers.
If a speech synthetizer browser does not support CSS (unlikely), then
it will still be able to emphasis text inside <em> tags and inside
<strong> tags.

As I wrote, <i> carries no semantic meaning (beyond italics), while <em>
*means* emphasized.... I assume every reasonably conforming ua will do
something useful and appropriate with standard markup like <em>,
<strong>, etc.


Correct. That is why <em> and <strong> have been considered as more
appropriate, meaningful elements for HTML. Since HTML was designed to be
device and media independent, then <b> and <i> are mostly for visual media.

Best regards :)

DU
Jul 20 '05 #37

P: n/a
DU wrote:
Brian wrote:
DU wrote:
The advantage of <em> over <i> and <strong> over <b> for visual
and speech browsers is that those <em> and <strong> elements are
more interoperable across media.
I didn't say otherwise, did I?


No, you did not say otherwise. And I did say what you wrote was
correct and exact :)


Fair enough. :)
Correct. That is why <em> and <strong> have been considered as more
appropriate, meaningful elements for HTML.
With the exception, perhaps, of using e.g. <i> for the name of a ship.
This was mentioned elsewhere in this thread, so I'll not repeat it here.
Best regards :)


And to you, too.

--
Brian (remove "invalid" from my address to email me)
http://www.tsmchughs.com/
Jul 20 '05 #38

P: n/a
DU wrote:
Brian wrote:
DU wrote:
The advantage of <em> over <i> and <strong> over <b> for visual
and speech browsers is that those <em> and <strong> elements are
more interoperable across media.
I didn't say otherwise, did I?


No, you did not say otherwise. And I did say what you wrote was
correct and exact :)


Fair enough. :)
Correct. That is why <em> and <strong> have been considered as more
appropriate, meaningful elements for HTML.
With the exception, perhaps, of using e.g. <i> for the name of a ship.
This was mentioned elsewhere in this thread, so I'll not repeat it here.
Best regards :)


And to you, too.

--
Brian (remove "invalid" from my address to email me)
http://www.tsmchughs.com/
Jul 20 '05 #39

P: n/a
ra*@zedat.fu-berlin.de (Stefan Ram) wrote:
It might also be used to highlight words, so that the eye can
easily catch certain words when browsing over a text.
Wouldn't this count as strong emphasis? That is, wouldn't <strong> and
not <b> be the most adequate markup?
When text is read, browsing in this way is not possible, so it
makes sense, to ignore the bold face in this case.


Why couldn't a speech browser have a function that reads the strongly
emphasized words, with short pauses between them, in a purpose fairly
similar to the mode of browsing that you describe? Speech browsers have
modes like "read links", "read headings", etc., and they could well be
combined with "read emphatic texts".

--
Yucca, http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/
Pages about Web authoring: http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/www.html

Jul 20 '05 #40

P: n/a
ra*@zedat.fu-berlin.de (Stefan Ram) wrote:
It might also be used to highlight words, so that the eye can
easily catch certain words when browsing over a text.
Wouldn't this count as strong emphasis? That is, wouldn't <strong> and
not <b> be the most adequate markup?
When text is read, browsing in this way is not possible, so it
makes sense, to ignore the bold face in this case.


Why couldn't a speech browser have a function that reads the strongly
emphasized words, with short pauses between them, in a purpose fairly
similar to the mode of browsing that you describe? Speech browsers have
modes like "read links", "read headings", etc., and they could well be
combined with "read emphatic texts".

--
Yucca, http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/
Pages about Web authoring: http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/www.html

Jul 20 '05 #41

P: n/a
"Jukka K. Korpela" <jk******@cs.tut.fi> writes:
It might also be used to highlight words, so that the eye can
easily catch certain words when browsing over a text.Wouldn't this count as strong emphasis? That is, wouldn't <strong> and
not <b> be the most adequate markup?


Possibly there are words, which I do not want to emphasize as
parts of the phrase structure of a sentence. I just want to
help visual human readers finding the word when they skim over
the text.

For example, a long text might mention the city of Helsinki.
This city is not intended to be emphasized, but a reader
skiming over the text should get some help to easily find the
word, like it is sometimes done by giving the background a
fluorescent colour:

(...) As an interesting side note, Meredith Gourdine won
the silver medal in the 1952 Olympics in <b>Helsinki</b>
for the long jump. (...)

This is just the way Google marks words used in a search, when
showing snippets: Reading them, one does not interpret this
mark-up as a means of expression of the author to emphasize
the highlighted word.
Why couldn't a speech browser have a function that reads the strongly
emphasized words, with short pauses between them, in a purpose fairly
similar to the mode of browsing that you describe? Speech browsers have
modes like "read links", "read headings", etc., and they could well be
combined with "read emphatic texts".


That's a good idea! I do not have experience with them, but I
assume, that as of now, they just do not have such a feature,
but it might help, indeed, to get a fast overview if a text
makes well considered use of emphatic text.

Jul 20 '05 #42

P: n/a
"Jukka K. Korpela" <jk******@cs.tut.fi> writes:
It might also be used to highlight words, so that the eye can
easily catch certain words when browsing over a text.Wouldn't this count as strong emphasis? That is, wouldn't <strong> and
not <b> be the most adequate markup?


Possibly there are words, which I do not want to emphasize as
parts of the phrase structure of a sentence. I just want to
help visual human readers finding the word when they skim over
the text.

For example, a long text might mention the city of Helsinki.
This city is not intended to be emphasized, but a reader
skiming over the text should get some help to easily find the
word, like it is sometimes done by giving the background a
fluorescent colour:

(...) As an interesting side note, Meredith Gourdine won
the silver medal in the 1952 Olympics in <b>Helsinki</b>
for the long jump. (...)

This is just the way Google marks words used in a search, when
showing snippets: Reading them, one does not interpret this
mark-up as a means of expression of the author to emphasize
the highlighted word.
Why couldn't a speech browser have a function that reads the strongly
emphasized words, with short pauses between them, in a purpose fairly
similar to the mode of browsing that you describe? Speech browsers have
modes like "read links", "read headings", etc., and they could well be
combined with "read emphatic texts".


That's a good idea! I do not have experience with them, but I
assume, that as of now, they just do not have such a feature,
but it might help, indeed, to get a fast overview if a text
makes well considered use of emphatic text.

Jul 20 '05 #43

P: n/a
In article <c5************@uni-berlin.de>,
ra*@zedat.fu-berlin.de (Stefan Ram) wrote:
Wouldn't this count as strong emphasis? That is, wouldn't <strong> and
not <b> be the most adequate markup?


Possibly there are words, which I do not want to emphasize as
parts of the phrase structure of a sentence. I just want to
help visual human readers finding the word when they skim over
the text.

For example, a long text might mention the city of Helsinki.
This city is not intended to be emphasized, but a reader
skiming over the text should get some help to easily find the
word, like it is sometimes done by giving the background a
fluorescent colour:


In other words, emphasizing them.

--
Kris
<kr*******@xs4all.netherlands> (nl)
<http://www.cinnamon.nl/>
Jul 20 '05 #44

P: n/a
In article <c5************@uni-berlin.de>,
ra*@zedat.fu-berlin.de (Stefan Ram) wrote:
Wouldn't this count as strong emphasis? That is, wouldn't <strong> and
not <b> be the most adequate markup?


Possibly there are words, which I do not want to emphasize as
parts of the phrase structure of a sentence. I just want to
help visual human readers finding the word when they skim over
the text.

For example, a long text might mention the city of Helsinki.
This city is not intended to be emphasized, but a reader
skiming over the text should get some help to easily find the
word, like it is sometimes done by giving the background a
fluorescent colour:


In other words, emphasizing them.

--
Kris
<kr*******@xs4all.netherlands> (nl)
<http://www.cinnamon.nl/>
Jul 20 '05 #45

P: n/a
Stefan Ram wrote:
For*example,*a*long*text*might*mention*the*city*of *Helsinki.
This*city*is*not*intended*to*be*emphasized,*but*a* reader
skiming*over*the*text*should*get*some*help*to*easi ly*find*the
word,*like*it*is*sometimes*done*by*giving*the*back ground*a
fluorescent*colour:

(...)*As*an*interesting*side*note,*Meredith*Gourdi ne*won
the*silver*medal*in*the*1952*Olympics*in*<b>Helsin ki</b>
for*the*long*jump.*(...)

This*is*just*the*way*Google*marks*words*used*in*a* search,*when
showing*snippets:*Reading*them,*one*does*not*inter pret*this
mark-up*as*a*means*of*expression*of*the*author*to*empha size
the*highlighted*word.


I don't see why <span class="highlight"> couldn't be used instead of <b> in
cases like this.

--
Shawn K. Quinn
Jul 20 '05 #46

P: n/a
Stefan Ram wrote:
For*example,*a*long*text*might*mention*the*city*of *Helsinki.
This*city*is*not*intended*to*be*emphasized,*but*a* reader
skiming*over*the*text*should*get*some*help*to*easi ly*find*the
word,*like*it*is*sometimes*done*by*giving*the*back ground*a
fluorescent*colour:

(...)*As*an*interesting*side*note,*Meredith*Gourdi ne*won
the*silver*medal*in*the*1952*Olympics*in*<b>Helsin ki</b>
for*the*long*jump.*(...)

This*is*just*the*way*Google*marks*words*used*in*a* search,*when
showing*snippets:*Reading*them,*one*does*not*inter pret*this
mark-up*as*a*means*of*expression*of*the*author*to*empha size
the*highlighted*word.


I don't see why <span class="highlight"> couldn't be used instead of <b> in
cases like this.

--
Shawn K. Quinn
Jul 20 '05 #47

P: n/a
"Shawn K. Quinn" <sk*****@xevious.kicks-ass.net> wrote:
I don't see why <span class="highlight"> couldn't be used instead of
<b> in cases like this.


To begin with, because there will be no hightlighting when CSS is off, or
the browser is unable to use the particular method of visual highlighting
that your style sheet suggests. It is also virtually impossible to users
to prepare for such markup, whereas they _can_ prepare for <strong> or
<b>, tailoring their appearance as desired, using a user style sheet (or
maybe browser configuration settings).

--
Yucca, http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/
Pages about Web authoring: http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/www.html

Jul 20 '05 #48

P: n/a
"Shawn K. Quinn" <sk*****@xevious.kicks-ass.net> wrote:
I don't see why <span class="highlight"> couldn't be used instead of
<b> in cases like this.


To begin with, because there will be no hightlighting when CSS is off, or
the browser is unable to use the particular method of visual highlighting
that your style sheet suggests. It is also virtually impossible to users
to prepare for such markup, whereas they _can_ prepare for <strong> or
<b>, tailoring their appearance as desired, using a user style sheet (or
maybe browser configuration settings).

--
Yucca, http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/
Pages about Web authoring: http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/www.html

Jul 20 '05 #49

P: n/a
On Mon, 12 Apr 2004, David Dorward wrote:
How do you render "bold" using a audio output browser?


Speak boldly.

Jul 20 '05 #50

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