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RE: <q> and commas

From: Justin James <j_james@mindspring.com>
Date: Wed, 29 Oct 2008 16:19:29 -0400
To: "'Robert J Burns'" <rob@robburns.com>, "'Philip TAYLOR \(Ret'd\)'" <P.Taylor@Rhul.Ac.Uk>
Cc: "'HTML WG'" <public-html@w3.org>
Message-ID: <00f801c93a03$a5e17960$f1a46c20$@com>

Robert -

I wish this was the case. Instead, the proposals that I am seeing floated
here, involve the following ideas:

* Automatic determination of which quotation mark to used, based upon the
level of nesting of <q>

* Automatic determination of whether or not to display the quote marks when
<q> is present, based upon whether or not the HTML author has put quotes
near the <q> tag

As a result, authoring tools do actually need to be rather smart, in order
to determine what to do when the user types a quotation mark character and
then selects text and hits the "Q" button (or whatever they would do to turn
a selection into a quote).

Overall, I stand by my statement that this proposal is "fraught with
danger". It requires a relatively complex amount of logic, with relatively
little returns, especially when you consider the benefit from this logic...
allowing people to not type quotation marks, or to update the quotation
marks if they change the nesting levels.

J.Ja

> -----Original Message-----
> From: public-html-request@w3.org [mailto:public-html-request@w3.org] On
> Behalf Of Robert J Burns
> Sent: Wednesday, October 29, 2008 3:52 PM
> To: Philip TAYLOR (Ret'd)
> Cc: Justin James; 'HTML WG'
> Subject: Re: <q> and commas
> 
> 
> HI Philip and Justin,
> 
> Please keep in mind that the discussion here surrounding the Q element
> has nothing to do with magic or intelligent behavior. The issue is not
> (as in the MS Word case) for editing software to try to anticipate the
> author is trying to convey, but rather for there to be a separation of
> concerns so that when an author marks up a document with specific
> semantics, the presentation is easily altered by the presentational
> layer of a UA. This is quite the opposite of the MS Word case in that
> we want the meaning in the document as the author intended and not the
> meaning that some later software tries to anticipate was the author's
> meaning (like heuristically deciding which phrases enclosed in
> quotation marks are quotations and which are titles, etc.).
> 
> Take care,
> Rob
> 
> On Oct 29, 2008, at 12:34 PM, Philip TAYLOR (Ret'd) wrote:
> 
> >
> >
> >
> > Justin James wrote:
> >
> >> Given enough engineering resources and a detailed
> >> enough spec, it is eminently possible to make a UA magically add
> >> all of the
> >> correct punctuation; Microsoft Word, for example, is capable of
> >> this. But no
> >> one in their right mind wants this.
> >
> > I certainly don't.  Microsoft Word drives me insane,
> > trying to second-guess what I am trying to accomplish.
> > If I hit <return>, I want to start a new line : I do
> > /not/ want to start a new sentence, nor do I want the
> > next word leading-capitalised.  If I end a group of
> > letters with a period, I want a period.  I am not
> > (necessarily) trying to indicate "end of sentence",
> > nor do I want the next word leading-capitalised.
> > If I click half-way through a word, then drag to the
> > end of the next word, I want a word and a part-word
> > selected, not both words in full.  Just three of
> > Word's "intelligent" behaviours that drive me insane.
> > So let's agree (if we can) that "intelligent"
> > behaviour is best left to sentient beings (humans),
> > whilst computers should stick to doing /exactly/
> > what they are told to do !
> >
> > Philip TAYLOR
> >
Received on Wednesday, 29 October 2008 20:20:32 GMT

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