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Re: Alternative input formats

From: Stephen J. Turnbull
Subject: Re: Alternative input formats
Date: Tue, 09 Dec 2014 16:52:06 +0900

Mike Gerwitz writes:
 > Stephen Turnbull wrote:

 > > Other than that we need faces, and I would suggest prohibiting EM (and
 > > I!) and STRONG (ditto B!) elements in favor of semantic markup on DIV
 > > and SPAN elements ('class="nextNode"' and the like).
 > As was mentioned already, the whole purpose of these elements is to
 > provide semantics to a document; classes exist purely for styling
 > (and many JavaScript programs use them as metadata, though that
 > practice is being largely deprecated by HTML5 data attributes).
 > Instead, the `article' tag was introduced, along with many others,
 > to provide a standard document structure.[1]

Sure.  I think that's great for blogs and possibly for Wikipedia.

However, as a non-expert in HTML5, what I worry is that the advantages
of the *semantic* markup in Texinfo which is *tuned* to multi-targeted
(media-wise) software manuals will be obscured by the standardization
process of translating to HTML5.  To recover them, you will have to
use some extension technique, such as "class" attributes or "data
attributes" (whatever they are).  If the standard semantics are quite
accurate for the elements used in Emacs manuals, fine, use the
standard elements.  But if they don't correspond quite accurately, I
personally prefer a language that says what it means even if it's
somewhat clumsy to read (remember, HTML is a *target* language for our
documents, not a source language).

Speaking of Texinfo markup semantics, that's one reason I'm not a big
fan of plain text markup for this purpose.  Sure, you can do it, but
it requires additional annoying syntax in languages like Markdown and
ReStructuredText.  It's hardly prettier and *much* less convenient
(for AUCTeX users) than Texinfo.

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