Font Tags Considered Harmful... but probably not by me

Subject: Font Tags Considered Harmful... but probably not by me
From: Darren Barefoot <Darren -dot- Barefoot -at- capeclear -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 22 Nov 2001 10:09:27 -0000


I believe the section you're referring to is at I agree completely with this
sentiment. Not only is it, as the W3C offers, "completely contrary to the
design goals of the language [HTML]", but it also makes for nightmarish
maintenance issues. Let me offer a couple of real-world cases where using
FONT tags and other dodgy bits of code are problematic:

* Before RoboHelp got all FrameMaker friendly, the only remotely-fast way to
go from FrameMaker to RoboHelp was via WebWorks. So, we'd convert our Frame
files to WebWorks, which inserts all sorts of weirdness, and then dump this
content into RoboHelp to make a help system. Later, we dispensed with the
FrameMaker source and just work in RoboHelp. When we author new HTML pages
in RoboHelp, the code doesn't look anything like the previously-converted
pages, and results in formatting and lay-out headaches.

* I create a document survey in HTML using, say, FrontPage. I naively apply
a bunch of FONT tags and other FrontPage nastiness, and then send it to the
Web guy to post on the company's site. Instead of just posting the thing,
he's got to wade in with his HTML editor of choice (which I guarantee is not
FrontPage), and spend a bunch of time cleaning up my mess to ensure the page
fits the company style. The correct thing to do here is author the HTML
referencing the company stylesheet, ensuring that you're copasetic. By the
way, I didn't actually do this...I just know it's a common scenario.

In short, I've found that HTML pages are rarely edited with a single tool.
I'm not advocating a particular tool, just suggested that whatever tool you
use, you should aim to produce as vanilla HTML as possible. My two cents.
Thanks. DB.

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Mike Starr [mailto:writstar -at- wi -dot- net]
> Sent: 22 November 2001 08:13
> Subject: Font Tags Considered Harmful... but probably not by me
> At Sandy's recommendation, I wandered over to the site
> and read the "Font Tags Considered Harmful" section and I
> have to say that their reasoning seems to me to be rather
> poor. Now don't get me wrong...
> Now I know I'm a contrary old fart and sometimes I just like
> to stir the pot (this just might be one of 'em but I won't
> tell) but unless I'm missing something obvious, their
> argument just doesn't hold water and smacks more of the
> purist's insistance that I not spoil the pristine beauty of
> "natural" HTML. Anybody want to give me a more convincing
> argument than w3c's??
> Mike (see what happens when I've got too much spare time) Starr


Collect Royalties, Not Rejection Letters! Tell us your rejection story when you
submit your manuscript to iUniverse Nov. 6 -Dec. 15 and get five free copies of
your book. What are you waiting for?

Your monthly sponsorship message here reaches more than
5000 technical writers, providing 2,500,000+ monthly impressions.
Contact Eric (ejray -at- raycomm -dot- com) for details and availability.

You are currently subscribed to techwr-l as: archive -at- raycomm -dot- com
To unsubscribe send a blank email to leave-techwr-l-obscured -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com
Send administrative questions to ejray -at- raycomm -dot- com -dot- Visit for more resources and info.

Previous by Author: RE: "firing" players from lobby into game
Next by Author: RE: merging pdf's
Previous by Thread: Font Tags Considered Harmful... but probably not by me
Next by Thread: Font Tags Considered Harmful... but probably not by me

What this post helpful? Share it with friends and colleagues:

Sponsored Ads