best way to use emphasis within code?

Michel Fortin michel.fortin at
Thu Jan 4 14:37:41 EST 2007

Le 2007-01-04 à 12:14, Jeremy C. Reed a écrit :

>> And now type this: {$ **mail -u _user_**}{in} and then type

>> {$ cd .. }{1}


>> {1}: style=font-family:fixed


> My problem with that is it is becomming less readable.

Agree... but then you could point out that adding ** and _ to the
input makes it incorrect when reading as plain text, so it's already
less readable on its own. Any kind of markers added within code will
look like code when reading as text, this can't be avoided.

What I don't like about the above is that it relies entirely on CSS
support by the browser instead of using established and meaningful
tags. I think this is a better solution than the above, and on the
plus side it already works:

And now type this: <code>$ **mail -u _user_**</code> and then type
<code>$ cd ..</code>

But I suspect the best HTML markup possible for your example would be
this one[^1]:

And now type this: <samp>$ <kbd>mail -u <var>user</var></kbd></
and then type <samp>$ <kbd>cd ..</kdb></samp>

Unfortunately, Markdown doesn't help you much with this.

The HTML 4.01 specification has this to say about the samp,
kbd, and var elements:

> : Designates sample output from programs, scripts, etc.
> : Indicates text to be entered by the user.
> : Indicates an instance of a variable or program argument.


Michel Fortin
michel.fortin at

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