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Re: HTML5's Q element

From: Chris Hoffman <mistermuckle@gmail.com>
Date: Sat, 5 Sep 2009 10:37:25 -0400
Message-ID: <61682a40909050737nfaeac68lb4682dc9fbac614d@mail.gmail.com>
To: public-html-comments@w3.org
I apologize for stretching this thread out longer than it needs to be,
but wanted to point out that one of the things that <q> can do that
in-source quotation marks cannot is provide machine-parsable
citations/sources for the quoted material. For example, a news site
that used <q> could be easily be scanned for recent quotes from
President Obama. I can see that opening up a host of interesting
possibilities.

Chris

On Sat, Sep 5, 2009 at 3:53 AM, T.J. Crowder<tj@crowdersoftware.com> wrote:
> 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 14:38:05 GMT

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