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Re: HTML5's Q element

From: Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>
Date: Fri, 4 Sep 2009 22:23:04 +0000 (UTC)
To: Ryan Roberts <hello@ryanroberts.co.uk>
Cc: public-html-comments@w3.org
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.62.0909042219430.24938@hixie.dreamhostps.com>
On Fri, 4 Sep 2009, Ryan Roberts wrote:
> Ian Hickson wrote:
> > On Fri, 4 Sep 2009, Ryan Roberts wrote:
> > > >
> > > > 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).
> >
> > I'm not sure what you mean by "semantic purpose". In what sense is all 
> > of HTML not just "there for presentation"?
> >
> > The whole point of HTML is to be a media-independent, platform- 
> > independent, stylable documenta and application language. Presentation 
> > (on multiple media, devices, etc) is the most important use case.
>
> Maybe I'm not explaining myself properly, I'm just a web designer and 
> nobody fancy. I believed many if not most elements such as <q>, were 
> there to describe the content. I see now this isn't the case with <q>, 
> but it's only really like that because it's broken and nobody wants to 
> fix it.

<q> does describe contents -- it means "this is a quote, so add quote 
marks". Just like <p> means "this is a paragraph, so add a line break 
before and after". Or in different media, "This is a quote, so use a 
slightly different voice" and "This is a paragraph, so pause before and 
after". Elements in HTML are media-independent presentation hooks.


> > > > 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.
> > 
> > In what sense have we not handed the spec over to them? Browser 
> > vendors, as the most high-profile implementors of the spec, have full 
> > control over what ends up being implemented. I'm not going to make the 
> > spec say somethin they won't do; that would just turn the spec into an 
> > especially dry form of science fiction.
>
> I understand that they have final say over what goes in their browsers, 
> but I can't say I like them having final say over the HTML5 spec itself.

What's the point in the HTML5 spec describing something that isn't what 
the browsers do?


> > > > 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?
> > 
> > One of the following:
> > 
> >     <p>Ryan asked "So at this point how do you mark up an inline
> >     quote?"</p>
> > 
> >     <p>Ryan asked<q>So at this point how do you mark up an inline
> >     quote?</q></p>
>
> In that case why not have <p> auto inert a period then we could have the 
> following:
> 
> Ryan doesn't like what he's hearing.
> 
> <p>Ryan doesn't like what he's hearing</p>

We do -- well, not periods, but line breaks. <p> inserts line breaks, 
which you can override from the CSS, just like <q> inserts quotes, which 
you can override from the CSS.

-- 
Ian Hickson               U+1047E                )\._.,--....,'``.    fL
http://ln.hixie.ch/       U+263A                /,   _.. \   _\  ;`._ ,.
Things that are impossible just take longer.   `._.-(,_..'--(,_..'`-.;.'
Received on Friday, 4 September 2009 22:20:17 GMT

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