The struggles of modernizing HTML

I learned HTML more than a decade ago before HTML 5 had been released. At that time it was common to see <b>, <i>, <u>, and <font> tags floating all around many code bases.

It wasn't until the release of HTML5 and CSS3 that we were supposed to migrate to external CSS files and remove a lot of the styling syntax from HTML documents themselves. For me, that wasn't a big problem. It took a bit of adjustment to start using CSS to provide all my font styling, and now it's second nature.

However, the ease of use when using <b> tags etc. is still too good to pass up. I can't find justification to force myself to use CSS classes for simply bolding or italicizing a few words within a sentence. After all, web development at its core is all about being fast and efficient both in terms of page load times and development times.

With the release of HTML5 came the introduction of the <strong> tag. To me, <strong> is less symantic than <b> and it's also nearly 3x more characters to write! But, of course, it's bad practice to use <b> these days. How did no one think to make a <bold> tag?

My opinion, though, is there's so many more things wrong with the web development community these days which we should be focussing on rather then making it nearly 3x harder to bold a few words. Hundreds of competing frameworks and libraries for starters, no clear cut standards for many web languages, and a mess of stack overflow questions with the wrong knowledge.

But, the people in charge of HTML must be right! Before we know it, we'll have to use the <paragraph> tag instead of the <p> tag. Sigh.

Shawn Clake

Freelance Developer

Software Engineering Student - U of R

Current: Assistant to Manager of Instructional Tech - U of R




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Posted in Technology on Feb 09, 2017