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Re: HTML5's Q element

From: T.J. Crowder <tj@crowdersoftware.com>
Date: Sat, 5 Sep 2009 08:53:24 +0100
Message-ID: <c95470a0909050053o7c922077xb86ecfd65ce25004@mail.gmail.com>
To: art@artspad.net
Cc: public-html-comments@w3.org
Art,

I read the localization point exactly opposite to the way you do (the
author surely is in a better position to determine what punctuation is
best suited to their content), but I'm not sure that this conversation
is really serving a purpose anymore and am bowing out of it.

-- T.J.



2009/9/5 Arthur Clifford <art@artspad.net>:
> Quotes have semantic value when a human is reading a document (obviously);
> however, HTML is not for humans to read. A well formed DOM will provide a
> hierarchical data structure that takes care of describing the parts of a
> document. In which case quote characters are not relevant to the HTML
> experience. The q-tag is what is semantically significant to an HTML
> interpreter and that interpreter can decide how best to present the content
> for final consumption by the end user.
>
> You actually argued against yourself with the cultural variation point.
> Somebody else brought up localization recently, a q tag can have a different
> style applied based on location and therefore provide the demarcation for
> the quoted content that is appropriate for that locale, meaning greater
> flexibility in allowing for the same content to be consumable in any
> cultural context. Likewise, a different style can be applied for sending to
> a professional printer where they may want the open and closed quote marks.
>
> I agree with you that it is moot as far as this tag is concerned. But the
> discussion speaks to the overall approach to defining the spec and what we
> should reasonably ask for and expect. For instance, is there a similar tag
> for exclamations? In Spanish an exclamation is preceded by an upside-down
> exclamation mark and ended with a right-side up one (I realize I just
> defined the exclamation mark I'm used to as 'right-side' up, no offense to
> any international readers). One could argue that if quotes are defined for
> the q-tag that similar styling should be available for exclamations. If the
> browser-vendors aren't dictating that behavior, shouldn't they? If the
> standard is grudgingly being tailored to suit the browser-vendors without
> understanding their motives or their logic then we fail to benefit from the
> advantages of what they asked for in other areas of the spec.
>
> Art C
> Arthur Clifford
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: public-html-comments-request@w3.org
> [mailto:public-html-comments-request@w3.org] On Behalf Of T.J. Crowder
> Sent: Friday, September 04, 2009 3:49 PM
> To: art@artspad.net
> Cc: public-html-comments@w3.org
> Subject: Re: HTML5's Q element
>
> Art,
>
> I don't think we have it backward at all, quotes absolutely have
> semantic value, not to mention the huge degree of individual and
> cultural variation related to them.  As a 20+ year software engineer,
> I can tell you I don't even want to come anywhere near writing code
> around that quagmire.
>
> But I *do* think Ian's point that this has been specified for over 10
> years is the absolute last word (see my most recent note on this).  I
> don't see respecifying it now, that would be asinine.
>
> -- T.J.
>
> 2009/9/4 Arthur Clifford <art@artspad.net>:
>> 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
>> quote</span>”</p>
>>
>>
>>
>> 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
>>
>>    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>
>>
>>
>>
>> Ryan
>>
>> --
>> Web Designer
>>
>>
>>
>> Web: http://ryanroberts.co.uk
>>
>> Email: hello@ryanroberts.co.uk
>>
>> Phone: 07759 917 964
>
>
>
Received on Saturday, 5 September 2009 07:54:19 GMT

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