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Re: HTML5's Q element

From: Ryan Roberts <hello@ryanroberts.co.uk>
Date: Fri, 04 Sep 2009 22:39:48 +0100
Message-ID: <4AA18924.1050002@ryanroberts.co.uk>
To: Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>
CC: Seth Call <sethcall@gmail.com>, "T.J. Crowder" <tj@crowdersoftware.com>, Henri Sivonen <hsivonen@iki.fi>, Arthur Clifford <art@artspad.net>, public-html-comments@w3.org, Yahia Chlyeh <cyahia@gmail.com>


Ian Hickson wrote:
> On Wed, 2 Sep 2009, Seth Call wrote:
>    
>> For IE8, FF 3.5, and Opera 10 (although not Safari 4), this behavior of
>> adding quotes is done with the default CSS style sheet of the browser;
>> not in the HTML rendering itself.
>>
>> If you style q like so:
>>
>> q:before {
>>      
>>>    content: no-open-quote;
>>> }
>>>
>>> q:after {
>>>    content: no-close-quote;
>>> }
>>>
>>>        
>> Then the quotes go away in those 3 browsers.
>>      
>
> On Wed, 2 Sep 2009, T.J. Crowder wrote:
>    
>> Having the UA add the quotes is not a good idea, and will almost
>> certainly lead to hacks like UAs looking to see if the quotes are
>> already there and only adding them if they're not.
>>
>> Even if IE8, FF3.5, et. al. and such are already doing this, they're
>> implementing the bleeding edge of this spec and should be agile enough
>> to cope with changes to it as it is finalised.
>>      
>
> On Wed, 2 Sep 2009, Ryan Roberts wrote:
>    
>> Whether it's no common or not it's a bad idea that needs changing sooner
>> rather than later.
>>      
>
> On Thu, 3 Sep 2009, Henri Sivonen wrote:
>    
>> It's a bad idea, sure. But it doesn't follow that<q>  in itself is a
>> good idea and needs changing.
>>
>> My conclusion is that adding quotes is a bad idea *and*<q>  in itself
>> isn't particularly useful. Thus, the solution is not to use<q>  in
>> newly-authored documents.
>>
>> Hixie, maybe<q>  should be obsolete but conforming...
>>      
>
> On Thu, 3 Sep 2009, Arthur Clifford wrote:
>    
>> I think this comes down to how HTML/HTML5 is going to be utilized, is it
>> describing a document object model; in which case a quote (or quoted
>> text) is an object and proper display of a quote object should be up to
>> the user agent, as informed by style sheets, thus keeping content and
>> its face separate. Or is HTML merely a markup language, in which case
>> what is the philosophical reason for having a q-tag? When is it used and
>> why?
>>
>> Back when there were proof-readers they would mark-up something that
>> should be a quote; isn't that what you're doing in html too? Quoted
>> content needs to be distinguishable from the content around it, which is
>> done with quotation-marks. Shouldn't the marks used in a document for
>> quoted content be identifiable through styles and/or along with a
>> section of quoted text? If so, isn't the quote tag the logical place to
>> define those styles, either in a global style or as a style attribute on
>> the quote tag?
>>
>> The localization argument I thought was a compelling argument for the
>> user agent to handle putting in quotes. It is an example of what is
>> possible when you treat a document as a DOM versus just marking up text.
>> If quoted content is treated like an object then things like
>> localization are easier to facilitate.
>>
>> I would hope that content-editors such as DreamWeaver would help out by
>> indicating usage of " and q together and would somehow notify the user
>> if that is what they want to do. The specification should recommend
>> against an html renderer doing such checks though. I think people would
>> figure out quickly that things are double-quoted and fixing that
>> shouldn't be hard.
>>      
>
> If you want quote marks in the source, use quote marks in the source, and
> don't use<q>.
>
> If you want quote marks added automatically, use<q>.
>    
This makes little sense. What you're saying is <q> has no semantic 
purpose anymore, it's there for presentation (see your further down).

What is the point in moving things forward if we can't correct past 
mistakes?

> It would be stupid of us to try to change this now given that all four
> major browsers ship with a<q>  that inserts quote marks. This was
> discussed in depth last year, and the spec was changed (from not inserting
> quotes to inserting quotes) after it was concluded that swimming against
> the browser vendors here was futile.
>    
Then hand the spec over to them.
> At this point, the<q>  element's purpose is to enable CSS-based quotation
> mark injection. If you don't want that, then don't use<q>.
>    
So at this point how do you mark up an inline quote?

Ryan

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Received on Friday, 4 September 2009 21:40:35 GMT

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