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RE: <q>

From: Justin James <j_james@mindspring.com>
Date: Tue, 28 Oct 2008 23:22:43 -0400
To: "'Sam Kuper'" <sam.kuper@uclmail.net>
Cc: "'Ivan Enderlin'" <w3c@hoa-project.net>, "'Olivier GENDRIN'" <olivier.gendrin@gmail.com>, "'Ben Boyle'" <benjamins.boyle@gmail.com>, "'Chris Wilson'" <Chris.Wilson@microsoft.com>, "'HTML WG'" <public-html@w3.org>
Message-ID: <001501c93975$9b8632f0$d29298d0$@com>

From: public-html-request@w3.org [mailto:public-html-request@w3.org] On Behalf Of Sam Kuper
Sent: Tuesday, October 28, 2008 9:59 AM
To: Justin James
Cc: Ivan Enderlin; Olivier GENDRIN; Ben Boyle; Chris Wilson; HTML WG
Subject: Re: <q>

2008/10/28 Justin James <j_james@mindspring.com>
>> 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.

> Then either don't use <q> in your own markup, or else specify a style rule to prevent <q>
> from making presentational changes that include the insertion of punctuation.

And lose the benefits of semantics within my pages? HTML doesn't define a default style for many elements at all. Why are you insisting that one be defined for <q>?

> Essentially, the proposals I've made are like "blockquote is to div as q is to span". It
> is only because standard typographical style in English and many other widely used
> languages is not to append/prepend punctuation to block quotes that I (and presumably
> others) have not suggested that <blockquote> should do so by default. However, because
> standard typographical style in many languages is to append/prepend quotation marks to
> inline quotations, I think the <quotation> element should do so.

OK, then for the sake of consistency, I insist that you insist that <p> require proper capitalization and punctuation. What's good for the goose (<q>) is good for the gander (<p>, <abbr>, etc.).
  
>> What if the inner contents come from elsewhere, like an authoring tool or are pulled
>> from XML and inserted via JavaScript?
>
> I can't see how this is a problem, as long as the inner contents are decently marked up
> (which they should be anyway).

You are kidding, right? It is *extraordinarily* unlikely that, say, user-generated content will be marked up with <q>. In fact, it is *extraordinarily* unlikely that any code will get <q>, except for that made by super-spec readers. Furthermore, to think that external content or user generated content will be well marked up is absolutely incorrect.
 
> I think I've addressed all of your stated objections to <q>. Please reconsider whether
> <q> is really such a bad idea after all.

I think that <q> is a good idea. I think that demanding a particular styling of it which generates quotation marks "on the fly" is a very bad one. What about authors who put in quotation marks and then mark it up with <q>? Pretend that they are using an authoring tool that lets them indicate quotes... say, something like Word which lets them indicate that something is a quote and make a citation for it. Do you want the authoring tool to walk them through a wizard or popup, interrogating them if the quotes are part of the quotation, or if they merely delimit the quotation?

I repeat:

Automatically generation punctuation is fraught with danger.

J.Ja
Received on Wednesday, 29 October 2008 03:23:42 GMT

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