Are <b> and <i> tags obsolete ?

Discussion in 'HTML' started by Bart, Jan 12, 2005.

  1. Bart

    Bart Guest

    Hi there,

    Although <b> and <i> tags are (according to the W3C HTML 4.01
    standard) not deprecated, their use is discouraged.
    I used to use <b> and <i> quit often.

    What in your opinion is the preferred way to go:
    - use <em> and <strong> (with or without a stylesheet) for markup or
    - use CSS (font-weight: bold; and font-style: italic) ?

    Any input is appreciated.

    Bart
    --
    Bart Broersma

    (ff _ANTISPAM_ wegpoetsen uit dit adres natuurlijk)
    Bart, Jan 12, 2005
    #1
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  2. On Wed, 12 Jan 2005 20:49:50 +0100, Bart <>
    wrote:

    > Although <b> and <i> tags are (according to the W3C HTML 4.01
    > standard) not deprecated, their use is discouraged.
    > I used to use <b> and <i> quit often.
    >
    > What in your opinion is the preferred way to go:
    > - use <em> and <strong> (with or without a stylesheet) for markup or
    > - use CSS (font-weight: bold; and font-style: italic) ?
    >


    I would stick to <em> for emphasis and <strong> because they do not only render
    text in graphical browsers in a certain way, but could emphasise text in other
    than graphical browsers as well, where as CSS will not do anything for a
    non-graphical browser.
    You can always change the looks of <em> and <strong> with CSS if you wish to do
    so.

    > Any input is appreciated.
    >


    Are you sure ? ;-)

    --
    ,-- --<--@ -- PretLetters: 'woest wyf', met vele interesses: ----------.
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    Barbara de Zoete, Jan 12, 2005
    #2
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  3. Bart

    CarolW. Guest

    On Wed, 12 Jan 2005 20:49:50 +0100, Bart
    <> wrote:

    >Hi there,
    >
    >Although <b> and <i> tags are (according to the W3C HTML 4.01
    >standard) not deprecated, their use is discouraged.
    >I used to use <b> and <i> quit often.


    Where was this information shared at on W3C? I looked around and
    didn't see that recommendation about using <b> or <i> being
    discouraged as sometimes I use <b> or <i> just for visual versus
    "vocal" emphasis thoughts that <em> and <strong> share.

    Carol
    CarolW., Jan 12, 2005
    #3
  4. Bart

    CarolW. Guest

    On Wed, 12 Jan 2005 20:13:31 GMT, (CarolW.) wrote:

    >On Wed, 12 Jan 2005 20:49:50 +0100, Bart
    ><> wrote:
    >
    >>Hi there,
    >>
    >>Although <b> and <i> tags are (according to the W3C HTML 4.01
    >>standard) not deprecated, their use is discouraged.
    >>I used to use <b> and <i> quit often.

    >
    >Where was this information shared at on W3C? I looked around and
    >didn't see that recommendation about using <b> or <i> being
    >discouraged as sometimes I use <b> or <i> just for visual versus
    >"vocal" emphasis thoughts that <em> and <strong> share.


    Nevermind, I answered my own question.

    I checked the elements listing page, where I didn't see <b> or <i>
    being tagged as obsolete or deprecated ... then I read through the
    accessibility page
    http://www.w3.org/TR/WCAG20-HTML-TECHS/#em where it is said that <b>
    and <i> were deprecated.

    Oh well ...

    Carol
    CarolW., Jan 12, 2005
    #4
  5. Bart

    Toby Inkster Guest

    Bart wrote:

    > What in your opinion is the preferred way to go:
    > - use <em> and <strong> (with or without a stylesheet) for markup or
    > - use CSS (font-weight: bold; and font-style: italic) ?


    Use <em> and <strong> if you need to make important text stand out.

    Use font-weight:bold or <b> and font-style:italic or <i> if you want to
    make text bold or italic for other reasons.

    But when do you choose <b>/<i> and when the CSS equivalents?

    Say you want to make all links bold, then use:

    a { font-weight: bold; }

    That's much better than:

    <a href="..."><b>...</b></a>

    But:

    This word is <b>bold</b>

    is better than:

    This word is <span class="mybold">bold</span>

    (particularly as the latter example will be false in some browsers!)

    --
    Toby A Inkster BSc (Hons) ARCS
    Contact Me ~ http://tobyinkster.co.uk/contact
    Toby Inkster, Jan 12, 2005
    #5
  6. Bart

    Spartanicus Guest

    (CarolW.) wrote:

    >I checked the elements listing page, where I didn't see <b> or <i>
    >being tagged as obsolete or deprecated ... then I read through the
    >accessibility page
    >http://www.w3.org/TR/WCAG20-HTML-TECHS/#em where it is said that <b>
    >and <i> were deprecated.


    That information is incorrect, neither <b> or <i> are deprecated up to
    and including xhtml 1.1.

    --
    Spartanicus
    Spartanicus, Jan 12, 2005
    #6
  7. Spartanicus <> wrote:

    >>http://www.w3.org/TR/WCAG20-HTML-TECHS/#em where it is said that <b>
    >>and <i> were deprecated.

    >
    > That information is incorrect, neither <b> or <i> are deprecated up to
    > and including xhtml 1.1.


    The cited document "HTML Techniques for WCAG 2.0" is just an incomplete
    sketch, which itself says: "It is inappropriate to cite this document as
    other than work in progress."

    On the other hand, the corresponding approved document for WCAG 1.0 says:
    "The proper HTML elements should be used to mark up emphasis: EM and
    STRONG. The B and I elements should not be used; they are used to create a
    visual presentation effect."
    http://www.w3.org/TR/WCAG10-HTML-TECHS/#text-emphasis

    So although the B and I elements have not been deprecated, the document
    seems to recommend that they be not be used, which might be seen as a
    milder statement. But reading closely, and reading the heading "Emphasis",
    we might come to the conclusion that the recommendation is that B and I be
    not used _for emphasis_. This leaves it open whether they could be used for
    other things.

    I think I'll stop here, since those elements have been discussed very much
    on different fora, including this group, and it's not really a big issue.

    --
    Yucca, http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/
    Pages about Web authoring: http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/www.html
    Jukka K. Korpela, Jan 12, 2005
    #7
  8. Bart

    Andy Dingley Guest

    On Wed, 12 Jan 2005 20:49:50 +0100, Bart
    <> wrote:

    >Although <b> and <i> tags are (according to the W3C HTML 4.01
    >standard) not deprecated, their use is discouraged.


    <b> and <i> are perfectly legitimate. The history of typography is
    such that effects like this have become so entrenched that they're now
    effectively semantically meaningful in their own right.

    If you mean "emphasized", then use <em> and CSS. If your first
    thought though was "bold" (as a specific effect) then by all means use
    <b>

    --
    Smert' spamionam
    Andy Dingley, Jan 12, 2005
    #8
  9. Bart

    Neal Guest

    Bart <> wrote:

    > Hi there,
    >
    > Although <b> and <i> tags are (according to the W3C HTML 4.01
    > standard) not deprecated, their use is discouraged.
    > I used to use <b> and <i> quit often.
    >
    > What in your opinion is the preferred way to go:
    > - use <em> and <strong> (with or without a stylesheet) for markup or
    > - use CSS (font-weight: bold; and font-style: italic) ?
    >
    > Any input is appreciated.


    Here's my guideline for <i> - you can figure out the <b> one easily
    enough.

    1) If you are italicising for decoration only, and it has no bearing
    on the meaning of what you write (i.e. it would not make the slightest
    difference if it wasn't) use CSS.

    2) If you are italicizing for a purpose that is covered by existing
    HTML markup (like emphasizing or marking a variable) use the proper
    semantic markup (<em>, <var>).

    3) If you are italicizing for a purpose that is required by standard
    style rules but for which there is not HTML markup (like a ship's
    name, or the title of a magazine, book or opera) use <i>.
    Neal, Jan 13, 2005
    #9
  10. Bart

    Neal Guest

    Jukka K. Korpela <> wrote:

    > So although the B and I elements have not been deprecated, the
    > document
    > seems to recommend that they be not be used, which might be seen as a
    > milder statement. But reading closely, and reading the heading
    > "Emphasis",
    > we might come to the conclusion that the recommendation is that B
    > and I be
    > not used _for emphasis_. This leaves it open whether they could be
    > used for
    > other things.


    That is exactly my conclusion.
    Neal, Jan 13, 2005
    #10
  11. Bart

    Bart Guest

    Op Wed, 12 Jan 2005 20:13:31 GMT schreef
    (CarolW.):

    >On Wed, 12 Jan 2005 20:49:50 +0100, Bart
    ><> wrote:
    >
    >>Hi there,
    >>
    >>Although <b> and <i> tags are (according to the W3C HTML 4.01
    >>standard) not deprecated, their use is discouraged.
    >>I used to use <b> and <i> quit often.

    >
    >Where was this information shared at on W3C? I looked around and
    >didn't see that recommendation about using <b> or <i> being
    >discouraged as sometimes I use <b> or <i> just for visual versus
    >"vocal" emphasis thoughts that <em> and <strong> share.
    >
    >Carol


    In the W3C HTML 4.01 specification on www.w3c.org//TR/html401, section
    15.2 on fonts:
    Bart, Jan 13, 2005
    #11
  12. Bart

    Bart Guest

    Op Wed, 12 Jan 2005 20:54:51 +0100 schreef "Barbara de Zoete"
    <>:

    >On Wed, 12 Jan 2005 20:49:50 +0100, Bart <>
    >wrote:
    >
    >> Although <b> and <i> tags are (according to the W3C HTML 4.01
    >> standard) not deprecated, their use is discouraged.
    >> I used to use <b> and <i> quit often.
    >>
    >> What in your opinion is the preferred way to go:
    >> - use <em> and <strong> (with or without a stylesheet) for markup or
    >> - use CSS (font-weight: bold; and font-style: italic) ?
    >>

    >
    >I would stick to <em> for emphasis and <strong> because they do not only render
    >text in graphical browsers in a certain way, but could emphasise text in other
    >than graphical browsers as well, where as CSS will not do anything for a
    >non-graphical browser.
    >You can always change the looks of <em> and <strong> with CSS if you wish to do
    >so.
    >

    I think I'll go that way then.
    Read part of your website on webdesign.
    Its content is very clear and informative and I like the design.
    Might adopt parts of your philosophy.

    I write my HTML in my own self-written HTML editor, wich not yet has
    buttons or keyboard shortcuts to <em> and <strong., so I'll adjust
    that as well ...

    >> Any input is appreciated.
    >>

    >
    >Are you sure ? ;-)


    As long as it's on topic (and no flame).

    Bart
    --
    Bart Broersma

    (ff _ANTISPAM_ wegpoetsen uit dit adres natuurlijk)
    Bart, Jan 13, 2005
    #12
  13. Bart

    Bart Guest

    Op Wed, 12 Jan 2005 21:50:54 +0000 (UTC) schreef "Jukka K. Korpela"
    <>:


    >On the other hand, the corresponding approved document for WCAG 1.0 says:
    >"The proper HTML elements should be used to mark up emphasis: EM and
    >STRONG. The B and I elements should not be used; they are used to create a
    >visual presentation effect."
    >http://www.w3.org/TR/WCAG10-HTML-TECHS/#text-emphasis
    >
    >So although the B and I elements have not been deprecated, the document
    >seems to recommend that they be not be used, which might be seen as a
    >milder statement. But reading closely, and reading the heading "Emphasis",
    >we might come to the conclusion that the recommendation is that B and I be
    >not used _for emphasis_. This leaves it open whether they could be used for
    >other things.
    >

    I think I'll follw that viwe in the future then.

    >I think I'll stop here, since those elements have been discussed very much
    >on different fora, including this group, and it's not really a big issue.


    Maybe not a big issue, but I just was interested in your opinions.

    Thanks.

    Bart
    --
    Bart Broersma

    (ff _ANTISPAM_ wegpoetsen uit dit adres natuurlijk)
    Bart, Jan 13, 2005
    #13
  14. In article <>, Bart
    () dropped a +5 bundle of words...

    > Hi there,
    >
    > Although <b> and <i> tags are (according to the W3C HTML 4.01
    > standard) not deprecated, their use is discouraged.
    > I used to use <b> and <i> quit often.
    >
    > What in your opinion is the preferred way to go:
    > - use <em> and <strong> (with or without a stylesheet) for markup or
    > - use CSS (font-weight: bold; and font-style: italic) ?
    >
    > Any input is appreciated.


    I've used them for little one time things just so I don't have to type
    out style="{...}" when I can just use a <b> but if it's more than just a
    quick little thing, I'd code it out.


    --
    Starshine Moonbeam
    mhm31x9 Smeeter#29 WSD#30
    sTaRShInE_mOOnBeAm aT HoTmAil dOt CoM
    Starshine Moonbeam, Jan 13, 2005
    #14
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