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Although - the implementations used in Bootstrap could be translated to a more semantic approach by using SASS or LESS mixins instead of classes. This is the approach used by the Susy grid system included with Compass. I see Bootstrap as a open-sourced library of tested cross-browser solutions to a reasonable set of challenges in modern front-end coding. As such I'm hoping it is possible to port a lot of it to a "semantic markup" way of doing things.

I suspect it's not possible to port it to "semantic markup"

Possibly - I won't know until I've played with the code a bit. But it seems to me that Susy has brought a simple but extremely powerful idea to implementing front-end code - instead of using a presentational element and layout-related class names like "row" etc. you can use a semantically-appropriate HTML element and @include your markup via a mixin. The actual CSS implementation can be the same - it's just that it is possible to separate the semantic HTML from the presentational structure (nested selectors with included of mixins as allowed by LESS/SASS) and the CSS implementation in the generated CSS.

I'm afraid I don't quite understand what semantic HTML means. Different people seem to have different ideas about the definition of semantic HTML. Could you point me to some internet resource that explains this stuff?

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