HTML5 Brings Back Some Old Friends: b and i tags

Though never truly deprecated, the <b> and <i> tags have been given a rather bad name.  With XHTML and rise of semantic HTML / standards, many felt as if they were deprecated, replacing them with <strong> and <em> as fast as they could Find and Replace.

But, as Mike Taylor suggested in a recent presentation at Time, Inc. (thank you, thank you, Alla!), and HTML5 Doctor now writes, the <b> and <i> are back in favor, but with a no semantic value now, just visual value.  You know, bold and italic, but with no semantic meaning to the visual difference.  Fascinating: they are now being allowed to visually represent the visual representation they once visually represented.  :-)

So, the HTML5 Doctor post does a really great idea of clearing things up, but here’s the skinny:

  • The <b> is for “a span of text offset from its surrounding content without conveying any extra importance”
  • The <i> is for “a span of text in an alternate voice or mood”
  • The <strong> is for “a span of text with strong importance”
  • The <em> is for “a span of text with emphatic stress”

Simple, right?

Well, welcome back, <b> and <i>!

No hard feelings, right?

Happy coding,

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