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Re: <q>

From: Ben Boyle <benjamins.boyle@gmail.com>
Date: Sun, 26 Oct 2008 10:17:42 +1000
Message-ID: <5f37426b0810251717i452eb3bfp50e287f23221b44c@mail.gmail.com>
To: "Sam Kuper" <sam.kuper@uclmail.net>
Cc: "Chris Wilson" <Chris.Wilson@microsoft.com>, "HTML WG" <public-html@w3.org>

On Sun, Oct 26, 2008 at 2:38 AM, Sam Kuper <sam.kuper@uclmail.net> wrote:
> 2008/10/25 Ben Boyle <benjamins.boyle@gmail.com>
>>
>> I prefer a more rigid application of the separation of concerns
>> principle: start with grammatically correct (including punctuation)
>> content, then apply the markup language.
>
> It is *very* important that web authors should be able to mark up content
> that is NOT grammatically correct. Otherwise tons of material could not be
> put on the web (including many important historical documents, for
> instance).

I agree.
I was referring to best practice, not intending to exclude other use
cases. Sorry if that was unclear.


>> The content should be correct
>> with the markup removed. If it is dependent upon the markup for proper
>> punctuation, this separation has not been achieved.
>
> This is a seductive notion, and it would be convenient if it held true
> generally. But it does not. Tabular content, for instance, doesn't make much
> sense unless marked up as such, and neither does block-quoted content. What
> is more, using the <q> element gives *greater* separation of concerns than
> simply inserting a quotation mark, because it allows a web designer to
> implement a global change in presentational style (e.g. using single quotes
> by default and double quotes for nested quotes) simply by changing a CSS
> rule or two.

Taken to its fullest extent, this thinking leads to fully describing
language grammar. Please excuse my crude example below, and I
understand you are not proposing this. (But I can't held following
through on the thinking and arriving at this conclusion)
<p>
  <sentence>
    <phrases conjunction="and">
      <phrase>
        <subject>This</subject>
        <stuff>is a</stuff>
        <adj>seductive</adj>
        <n>notion</n>
      <phrase>it would be <n>convenient</n> if it <v>held</v>
<n>true</n> <adv>generally</adv></phrase>
  </sentence>
  ...
</p>

I am certain there is a place for this in the world. I think HTML is
in a pretty good space. Table markup is fantastic - there's no
punctuation for tables btw. List markup is another, where
bullets/numbers, and that's proven itself so useful I would not change
it.

I guess the line has to be drawn somewhere... in my previous post I
was pondering why quotation marks fell into the spec. It's quite
useful being able to mark something as a quotation. Having the
punctuation go awry across different browser implementations is just a
headache. I maintain my position: it wasn't (and isn't) difficult to
insert the quotation characters into the source content. I don't see
that the "automatically append/prepend quotation marks" has achieved
anything helpful.


>> Let me explain why I don't find q useful (why I think it could be
>> deprecated).
>>
>> I could author this:
>> <q lang="en">Hello world</q>
>>
>> And I could change the language:
>> <q lang="fr">Hello world</q>
>
> This is a very poor use case to pick. Changing the language of an element to
> the incorrect language is not something authors should be doing: it's
> mistaken practice.

Aye... I only meant to discuss the quote characters that would be
inserted... I wasn't proposing authors should incorrectly specify the
language.


>> Thankfully, the q element is completely optional so there's nothing
>> stopping me continuing to avoid using it. ;)
>
> Yep, and inline styling is still possible too, so you can style every
> element individually if that's how you want to spend your time!

Yes, and I maintain my position that it is extremely valuable for
authors to have these choices. I'm not looking for ways to waste my
time though, and think comparing punctuation with inline styling is a
bit amusing. Hopefully I've clarified my position better. I take your
point you find the q element useful. More power to you! I've no qualms
with anyone who wishes to uses q. And you can quote me on that. haha
:)

Got a question ...

<p lang="en"><q lang="fr">Bonjour</q> he said.</p>

English or French quotation marks?

cheers
Ben
Received on Sunday, 26 October 2008 00:18:24 UTC

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