W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-html-comments@w3.org > September 2009

RE: HTML5's Q element

From: Arthur Clifford <art@artspad.net>
Date: Fri, 4 Sep 2009 15:40:15 -0700
To: <public-html-comments@w3.org>
Message-ID: <004601ca2db0$ac7e8ff0$0e14a8c0@iMacPCVirtualMachine>
Ryan and TJ,


I think you have things backward.


In HTML tags are what identify the structure/content/semantics of a
document. Quotation marks (") have no semantic value at all. The q tag on
the other hand identifies a section of text as being a quote. Since q tags
identify something as a quote, as an object within the document, it makes
more sense to affiliate the symbols to surround the quoted text during
display with the objects themselves; meaning it makes more sense to have the
q tag dictate quote marks. As a programmer I will tell you that if I wanted
to identify quoted material I'd much rather parse a well-formed html
document for a q and /q  tag than " marks. Besides " is not a quote mark in
printing, there are open and closed quote marks.


I understand the frustration regarding the argument that because the browser
vendors do it that's the way it is going to be. I also understand Ian's
perspective, but I would say the browser vendors went the way they did
because it makes more sense from a development perspective and ultimately a
user experience to do things that way. The syntax of any programming
language first and foremost is designed to make parsing it for use by the
software into a data structure. If you think of html as informing an object
model, then your opinion about quotes and q-tags becomes more and more
invalid. The current implementation of q is far more flexible for the
greatest number of outputs and use-cases. 


Ian missed a method of styling quotes the way you want:


<p>blah blah blah, "<span style="RyanQuotes">some really awesome


Art C

Arthur Clifford



From: public-html-comments-request@w3.org
[mailto:public-html-comments-request@w3.org] On Behalf Of Ryan Roberts
Sent: Friday, September 04, 2009 3:11 PM
To: Ian Hickson
Cc: public-html-comments@w3.org
Subject: Re: HTML5's Q element


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.

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. 


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 
   <p>Ryan asked <q>So at this point how do you mark up an inline 

In that case why not have <p> auto inert a period then we could have the

Ryan doesn't like what he's hearing.

<p>Ryan doesn't like what he's hearing</p>



Web Designer 


Web: http://ryanroberts.co.uk

Email: hello@ryanroberts.co.uk

Phone: 07759 917 964
Received on Friday, 4 September 2009 22:40:56 UTC

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.1 : Tuesday, 6 January 2015 20:26:25 UTC