Simple Word Production – name

Does word semantics meaning

Nearly every web designer is guilty of forcing line breaks, creating tables that don't hold tabular data, and a host of other egregious HTML sins. Now that CSS is around, Molly E. Holzschlag slaps our hands and explains why we should pay attention to each element's content, not just its looks.

Surely by now you've heard or seen the term semantics being bandied about by web standards evangelists and document purists. But what does the term really signify in the context of markup, and what do you need to know about semantics to improve your markup practices? This article helps define semantics in HTML and XHTML, and gets you started using elements semantically.

Semantics Is Meaning

In English, the word semantic means "of or relating to meaning." In the science of linguistics, semantics is more explicit: It's the study of meaning based on the historical and psychological significance of words and terms. While the academic study of markup vocabularies can be thought of as a form of linguistics, the real-world practice of marking up documents semantically follows the first definition; in markup, semantics is concerned with the meaning of an element, and how that element describes the content it contains. This issue was always meant to be part of HTML, but the hacking of HTML for presentational purposes made short order of any semblance of semantic purity within the language.

However, with CSS now the primary means of managing presentation of documents in contemporary web design, and the influence of XML bringing rigor back to markup, the emphasis as we write our HTML or XHTML has moved from how our content looks to what our content means.

See also:
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