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Re: [whatwg] several messages about quotations

From: Leif Halvard Silli <lhs@malform.no>
Date: Wed, 23 Apr 2008 05:03:07 +0200
Message-ID: <480EA6EB.4040401@malform.no>
To: fantasai <fantasai.lists@inkedblade.net>
CC: Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>, WHAT WG List <whatwg@whatwg.org>, public-html@w3.org

fantasai 12-04-08 22:38:   ­  
> Ian Hickson wrote:
>> Summary: I've made the spec require that any punctuation for <q> be 
>> included inside the element; I've added examples for <q>.

On the background of what HTML 4 says about this, should the new 
formulation be taken to mean only that it is now *permitted* to add 
quotemarks yourself, or should it mean that it is required to do so, if 
you want quote-marks?

> > ...
>>> How would you define CSS pseudo-elements for open and close quotes 
>>> in such a way that they would be implementable and would not match 
>>> apostrophes and would correctly differentiate between open and close 
>>> quotes in languages that use the same character for opening and 
>>> closing and in languages that invert the direction of guillemets 
>>> compared to French?
>> I would introduce two pseudo-elements, ::quote-start and ::quote-end, 
>> which match one or more characters with the Quotation_Mark property 
>> (as per Unicode PropList) found at the start or end of an element, if 
>> such text is a direct child of the element (skipping White_Space 
>> characters).

 From what else you said, it sounded as if quotes-transform:; on the 
model of CSS text-transform:; is being thought up.

And in that regard, will ::quote-start{}also select quote characters 
inserted via ::before{} ?

This is a CSS question. But I try to understand how the backwards 
compatibility issue is thought being solved. For instance, both Opera, 
Firefox and Webkit inserts quote-marks by default if you use a q 
element. Will the ::quote-start selector select these preinserted 
quotemarks and be able to transform them? Is that the idea? (iCab goes 
further and adapts the quotemarks to the language, which is a behaviour 
in line with what HTML 4 proposes.)
>> I've started this idea down the path of the CSS working group.
> [...]it would be important to have i18n people
> involved since punctuation styles vary across languages and I'm not sure
> Unicode's Quotation_Mark property is adequate.) 

To the quesion about being able to discern what is quotemarks and what 
is not: Currently, one can, per CSS 2.1, set the quotes property for e.g 

    body{quote:'«' '»'}

and then refer to them again via ::before and ::after, like here:


And it seems to me that the ::quote-start,::quote-end{} selector could 
simply/at least look for those quote-marks that were defined with the 
quotes:; property.

    But, it would also be appropriate to look for spesific quotemarks 
based upon the language of the element, without the author needing to 
tell the browser who they are.  Which brings my to the point perhaps 
most relevan to our spec:

Section 3.4.3 about  "The lang (HTML only) and xml:lang (XML only) 
attributes" is most relevant for quote-marks.

Personally, I think that User Agents should offer more help than they 
currently do. Namely, they should display quotes in line with the 
language of the element, such as at least iCab tries to do.

Therefore, I propose that the quotation marks and the quote element 
usecase is spesificly mentioned in the following paragraph of section 3.4.3:

    User agents may use the element's language to determine proper
    processing or rendering (e.g. in the selection of appropriate fonts
    or pronounciations, or for dictionary selection).

Proposed addition: "..., or for the choice of language spesific quote 
marks for the q element".
leif halvard silli
Received on Wednesday, 23 April 2008 03:04:06 UTC

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