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RE: <q>

From: Justin James <j_james@mindspring.com>
Date: Tue, 28 Oct 2008 09:32:09 -0400
To: "'Ivan Enderlin'" <w3c@hoa-project.net>
Cc: "'Olivier GENDRIN'" <olivier.gendrin@gmail.com>, "'Ben Boyle'" <benjamins.boyle@gmail.com>, "'Sam Kuper'" <sam.kuper@uclmail.net>, "'Chris Wilson'" <Chris.Wilson@microsoft.com>, "'HTML WG'" <public-html@w3.org>
Message-ID: <038a01c93901$93be90e0$bb3bb2a0$@com>

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Ivan Enderlin [mailto:w3c@hoa-project.net]
> Sent: Tuesday, October 28, 2008 9:15 AM
> To: Justin James
> Cc: 'Olivier GENDRIN'; 'Ben Boyle'; 'Sam Kuper'; 'Chris Wilson'; 'HTML
> WG'
> Subject: Re: <q>
> > The more that questions like this come up, the more that it becomes
> clear to
> > me that<q>  is a bad idea. It will never meet the author's needs, or
> do what
> > they expect it to do, more than "most of the time", which is always a
> clear
> > sign that something is not right.
> I don't understand your feeling Justin. Oliver got a good argument,
> i.e.
> if we specify a lang for a <q> tag, it concerns the <q> content and not
> the quotation style, which belongs to the typography of the main
> document language. There is no problem with the @lang attribut I think.
> Actually, I wonder to understand what is the problem with quotation.

I misspoke... my problem is with the idea of <q> inserting any kind of
punctuation. Do we ask that <acronym> make its contents capitals and insert
periods between them? Of course not, even though it may be grammatically
correct in some cases. I like <q> as a tag to indicate that something is a
quote, kind of like "blockquote is to div as q is to span". I don't like it
as trying to plaster on automagical punctuation marks. Does <p> make sure
that each sentence end with a period, exclamation point or question mark?

> The
> <q> tag indicates a quotation, like <p> tag indicates a paragraph. The
> style quotation, like the style paragraph, are exported into a CSS. And
> of course, UA got a default render, according to the document language.
> Maybe, this is the problem because a default render for a paragraph is
> trivial, but a default render for a quotation is a bit hard. For
> example :
> <p lang="fr"><q>Et il me dit&nbsp;: <q>Salut !</q></q> annonça-t-il</p>
> The first quotes pair is « and », and the second (inside quotes) is “
> and ”, like English quotes … If a UA should know all theses rules, this
> is the problematic.

I agree.

> Finally, I think that <q> tag is usefull for the semantic and does not
> evoke special problem. The quote style is difficult but not impossible,
> and UA given default render through CSS for quotes style, there is no
> problem no ?

Huge problems with this, as noted above. In addition, what about UAs that
use a default stylesheet different from what the author expects? Or do not
use CSS at all? What if the quote contains a quote? Should the inside quote
also use <q>? What if the inner contents come from elsewhere, like an
authoring tool or are pulled from XML and inserted via JavaScript? No, I
think that the idea of <q> rendering quotes, regardless of the rules it
uses, is a very bad idea.

Received on Tuesday, 28 October 2008 13:43:03 UTC

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