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RE: <q>

From: Justin James <j_james@mindspring.com>
Date: Wed, 29 Oct 2008 08:20:45 -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: <007f01c939c0$c4f69c10$4ee3d430$@com>

From: sampablokuper@googlemail.com [mailto:sampablokuper@googlemail.com] On Behalf Of Sam Kuper
Sent: Wednesday, October 29, 2008 3:24 AM
To: Justin James
Cc: Ivan Enderlin; Olivier GENDRIN; Ben Boyle; Chris Wilson; HTML WG
Subject: Re: <q>

2008/10/29 Justin James <j_james@mindspring.com>
From: public-html-request@w3.org [mailto:public-html-request@w3.org] On Behalf Of Sam Kuper
2008/10/28 Justin James <j_james@mindspring.com>
>> HTML doesn't define a default style for many elements at all. Why are you insisting that
>> one be defined for <q>?
>
> Partly because I'm used to it from HTML 4.01; partly because section 9 of HTML 5 is
> obviously incomplete, leading me to think that HTML 5 may yet recommend default
> presentation for many elements.

It won't. I asked about this a few months ago, and the feedback from the group was EXTREMELY clear on this topic. Due to the wide variety of devices and UAs that can consume HTML, defining default styles is, (to use my phrase), "fraught with danger". I saw the light. :)
 
>> OK, then for the sake of consistency, I insist that you insist that <p> require proper
>> capitalization and punctuation.
>
> I don't see how that would be consistent, given that I have been making suggestions about
> <q> and not about <p>. In other words, the scope of my suggestions has been the <q>
> element, not all HTML 5 elements, nor even all HTML 5 elements containing phrasing
> content.

Simple... you are saying that an element which represents a grammatical concept (a quotation) should have a mechanism for automatically choosing the correct punctuation based on language for that piece of text. Thus, <p> should add punctuation too, in a consistent world. HTML puts a heavy premium on consistency. Again, if <q> adds punctuation, so should <p> and any other element which represents grammar.

> I said, "decently marked-up", I didn't say, "marked up with <q>". So what's the problem?

Because so little content is decently marked up! Even when people TRY to mark things up correctly, they typically are not marked up correctly. One major assumption of HTML is that it will needed to error correct. I do not think that this proposal error corrects very well.
 
>> Furthermore, to think that external content or user generated content will be well
>> marked up is absolutely incorrect.
>
> Depends who has authored it and how. I'm all for having authoring tools make it easier
> for users/authors to author good HTML, and increasingly they are doing so (cf. Fred
> Knabben's efforts and many others). Over the lifetime of HTML 5, I hope the quality of
> authored HTML will increase as a result.

I hope so too!

> In fact, among forum software, [quote] is probably one of the most used elements. It
> would, I think, be easier for phpBB et al to become HTML5 compliant wrt. the <q> element
> based on my proposals (and all equivalent proposals made by others) than otherwise.
 
One class of software, yes. And you know what? It uses <blockquote>, not <q>, last I checked, and it is not meant for inline quoting. Do you expect these authoring tools to not only support two types of quoting, but have a UI that properly differentiates the two? If so, I think that you are off base.

>> I repeat:
>> Automatically generation punctuation is fraught with danger.
>
> I repeat:
>
> I think I've addressed all your concerns :)

You've addressed them. I do not feel comfortable with the responses though. No one has adequately addressed the error handling issues. And the use case is an edge case to begin with. I do not think that it is worth attempting to figure out some sort of tricky logic around these things, attempt to enunciate it within the spec, and then hope that HTML consumers implement that tricky logic, all to save a small handful of HTML authors (the intersection of the sets of authors who use <q>, and the set of documents with a lot of inline quotes, and the set of documents with a lot of nested quotes) a little bit of effort. Let's get honest, how many documents contain so many nested quotes that this proposal actually saves those authors much effort? And how often does the level of nesting change?

This is a unneeded, complex solution in search of a true use case.

J.Ja
Received on Wednesday, 29 October 2008 12:21:54 GMT

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