[rfc-i] Graceful degradation is key, was: Re: draft-hildebrand-html-rfc

Tim Bray tbray at textuality.com
Sat Jul 14 07:36:09 PDT 2012

On Jul 14, 2012 2:34 AM, "Iljitsch van Beijnum" <iljitsch at muada.com> wrote:
> So the difference between regular and italic text can't be semantically
meaningful, because that difference isn't there on some character based
terminals or in screen readers.

I haven't seen anyone using a "character based terminal" in at least a
decade. Anyone. And yes, screen readers do <em> and <cite>. Pure italics,
of course, don't have semantics.  The notion that semantic markup for
emphasis or citation should be out-of-bounds is laughable.

> Equations and images can only be additional information and not essential
for understanding an RFC for the same reason. (Although for equations you
could have an a=sqrt(b/c) formatted alternative.)

I personally agree, for reasons of policy not because of imaginary hardware
constraints. But we're in a minority on that.
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