The Little BR that Should Not

Friday, September 28, 2007

Last time I explained why you shouldn’t use <B> and <I> and alternatives that are semantically correct. Today I’d like to complain about the over-use of <BR /> in the web.

<BR /> is a line break. Some people just type <BR> and they shouldn’t do that. You should always close your tags, even if they are empty. I’m happy that more than half of the BR’s that I see are closed, but at the end of the day they shouldn’t even be used.

<BR /> is a line break. Yeah, I know I just said that but the thing is that <BR /> is a line break. Was the third time the charm on that one? No? Well, how about this: A line break isn’t data. It is formatting. There is no semantic value in <BR />. You wouldn’t sell a stock because the stock price had a line break in it. You wouldn’t change medication because the news report on it had a line break in it. It is purely formatting.

What have I said about formatting? It belongs in the CSS, not in the HTML. HTML is for data only. For that reason the next tag that I am going to eliminate from my vocabulary is:

<BR />


This work is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 4.0

We Know Job One, What is Job Two?

Death to B and I