W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-html-comments@w3.org > April 2012

Re: HTML5 Paragraphs, Sentences and Phrases

From: T.J. Crowder <tj@crowdersoftware.com>
Date: Sat, 14 Apr 2012 00:01:53 +0200
Message-ID: <CAH65x-yTO053ho5OFXMmyq3ektkeB9BvSFDxnUbDOrTV=q8vpQ@mail.gmail.com>
To: public-html-comments <public-html-comments@w3.org>

No special point to make other than to say that a sentence tag just makes
obvious sense to me. I could present paragraphs as styled divs. I don't,
because we have a tag that more clearly identifies the text therein as a

So I support adding a sentence tag, provided it's a nice short tag (too bad
<s> was wasted on strikethrough), recognizing that a lot of people won't
use it and software that wants to interpret the structure of written text
will continue to have to infer sentences in the majority of texts. That
fact in no way diminishes the value of an author being able, when willing,
to clearly identify the sentences.
T.J. Crowder

On 13 April 2012 17:41, Thomas A. Fine <fine@head.cfa.harvard.edu> wrote:

> For 800 years, people set type by hand, and during that time they could
> choose to format sentences as separate elements (by adding extra space),
> and most typesetters in fact chose to do that.
> So what's absurd is that with all of our wondrous modern technologies,
> authors today still do not have this most basic of abilities in any
> usable form.  We can do 100 amazing things that typesetters could not
> but we still can't handle the most fundamental typesetting task that
> was routine to a typesetter.
> Imagine if we were designing HTML for a traditional typesetter.
> The two most important tags would be a paragraph tag and a sentence
> tag.  The majority of traditional typesetting could have been
> accomplished with only these two tags.  This is why the lack of
> a sentence tag is absurd.
> Semantic tags are a problem?  Well we already had "paragraph".  But
> HTML5 adds "header", "footer", "section", "figure", "aside", "article",
> and others.  Again, the absurdity here is to provide all of these tags,
> and yet offer no clear standardized way to tag the most fundamental
> and most common element.  Especially since a sentence is BOTH a semantic
> element AND (traditionally) an element with particular styling needs.
> And what exactly is the harm in adding a tag that many people might
> not use?  The days when HTML can simply address the basic common
> case are long gone, folks.  HTML is arguably the most popular form
> of one-to-many written communication in use today.  It needs to fill
> that role, and serve the diverse needs of its large audience and many
> authors.
>      tom
Received on Friday, 13 April 2012 22:02:43 UTC

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