Error: I'm afraid this is the first I've heard of a "writeback" flavoured Blosxom. Try dropping the "/+writeback" bit from the end of the URL.
In defense of <small>
This Design by Fire piece has to be one of the best blog entries I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading. Magnificent work, with much back-slapping deserved.
One comment therein got me thinking, however:
There’s a small tag in there! Come on, Jakob, what the hell is that?
Now, I’m far from being at the cutting-edge of markup purity, although this is something I’m slowly working to address. But I still have a soft spot for
<small>. I actually feel it has genuine semantic value.
To begin with,
<small> is in XHTML 1.0 strict and XHTML 1.1 — so it’s not a deprecated tag.
<font> it ain’t. The argument against using it, however, comes (I believe — do correct me) from the perception that it’s an inherently presentational tag: that it carries no semantic weight, and that anything it does should really be achieved instead using a
<span> and CSS.
Pretty often, I guess this would be true — and, to be fair, in XHTML 1.1 it’s firmly in the presentational module alongside
<hr>. But I can’t help feeling that
<small> has a semantic role, at least potentially, as the opposite of emphasis. We call small print ‘small print’ not just because of the font that’s used — the gabbled “your home may be at risk if you do not keep up payments secured on it” at the end of a radio advert for a mortgage vendor is that advert’s small print even though nothing’s actually small or printed. We all know what the term means: it’s the stuff you don’t have to pay too much attention to.
If we consider regular text to be a point on a gradient of significance,
<strong> are progressively higher up the gradient, and (I’d argue)
<small> is a convenient tool to indicate content that’s a bit further down the gradient.
So why aren’t I arguing that
<big> has a similar role? Well, it’s not like emphasis isn’t already well-covered in (X)HTML, with
<strong> and the two combined. We don’t really need
<big> to add to that mix — besides which, there isn’t a real-world corollary for ‘big text’. If (X)HTML had a
<feint> tag or something similar, I’d be content to excise
<small> from my repertoire.
But it doesn’t, and I’m not.#