All this chatter about the ‘semantic web’ and ‘Web 2.0’. All this almost insane wittering in places about whether it should be <b> or <strong>, or if words are being <i>italicised</i> or <em>emphasised</em> – does anyone really care? Does it really really matter? But if it does, what happens to <u>the underline tag</u>?
It was always a link thing, but then people stopped underlining presumably because it looked ugly and we started to have hover effects instead. So what happened to the tag?
A google for ‘define semantic’ throws this up from the guy behind the web:
“The Semantic Web is an extension of the current web in which information is given well-defined meaning, better enabling computers and people to work in cooperation.” (src: http://www.semanticweb.org) (or somewhere close to there. I lost it)
I’m throwing that in for no good measure.
So… back to tags. I hear on the news that “he underlined his point”, I will read letters that do not use emphasis tags for emphasis but instead use VERY SCARY BIG LETTERS – so where on the web has the u tag gone and why has no-one underlined any possible moved elsewhere?
I like the underline tag. In fact I think we should have a double underline tag for really important ‘wag your finger at someone’ type stuff. (Yeah I know CSS can do it but that’s no fun). <du> double-u see.. not so hard.
I know it’s coming back somewhere….. but will it always be a link thing? If so, why not pedant more about that than the use of h tags? Maybe it is being discussed quietly in a forum somewhere (that hopefully isn’t that horrible ‘Web 2.0 green’ – you seen it too? Foul colour. I used to like it..) and it’ll return triumphantly.
Thing is, for me an underline is a finger point. An emphasis is a voice thing. A ‘strong’ would be a raised voice. An emphasis is a nuance, a ‘nod and a wink’, it can be subtle. An underline is not subtle. It’s a ‘Read it? Got it? Good’ sort of thing. If this ‘Web 2.0’ malarkey IS about doing things better – and not just by designing a standard for smilies (I’m amazed there isn’t one – and I know it’s been trademarked / patented / whatever) – then why not introduce a couple more ‘semantic’ tags?