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Re: UA style sheet for <q>-- why required?

From: Jim Jewett <jimjjewett@gmail.com>
Date: Thu, 30 Oct 2008 20:27:32 -0400
Message-ID: <fb6fbf560810301727v7ccf395fq9858dc6b0ddda568@mail.gmail.com>
To: "Robert J Burns" <rob@robburns.com>
Cc: "HTML WG" <public-html@w3.org>

On Thu, Oct 30, 2008 at 7:37 PM, Robert J Burns <rob@robburns.com> wrote:
> On Oct 30, 2008, at 6:13 PM, Jim Jewett wrote:

>>> I've seen no one expound a compelling reason for not leaving quotation
>>> styling to a styling mechanism instead of hard coding the styling in
>>> the HTML document.

>> Correctness.  The HTML is supposed to be usable even with stylesheets
>> off.

>> If Bob says <q>I'll be a monkey's uncle!</q>, then the stylesheets are
>> effectively required. ...

> This still is not a reason. When stylesheets are off that means that the UA
> is using the UA stylesheet to present the quotations.

The UA stylesheet is still a stylesheet.  I really did mean "without
stylesheets"  -- the sort of display that you get for an unknown
element, where the element name and attributes are effectively lost.

Perhaps this is no longer a reasonable goal; it already doesn't
work for object, audio, and video, and sometimes not for img.

Still, it seems odd to break that tradition for a single inline
text element.

>> If Bob says <q>I'll be a monkey's uncle!</q>, then the stylesheets are
>> effectively required.

> will be rendered properly using the UA stylesheet.

It isn't today, so there is not a good transition plan for authors.

You know that (as yoiu mentioned in [2]), but figure it is OK,
because the spec said "should not".

I think it was the spec's advice that was wrong, and authors were
entirely justified in ignoring that particular "should not", as they
did indeed have good reason to do otherwise.

That said, if the support for reduction-to-text is going to be dropped,
then HTML5 is the right time.

> [removing the explicit quotes] has been discussed at length in
> this thread[1][2].  It is not entirely clear this is the best way forward,
...
> [1]: <http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-html/2008Oct/0241.html>
> [2]: <http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-html/2008Oct/0260.html>

[1]  Is really about getting the visual presentation right to the last
detail.  That is certainly nice to have, but it is too much too ask of
a non-stylesheet view.  It is probably too much to ask of even a
default stylesheet.

I'm thinking not just of the big browsers, but of smaller tools, like
plucker.  (www.plkr.org)  Arcane rules in the error-correction section
are bad, but unavoidable.  Odd exceptions within even the section for
perfectly valid documents is worse, and raises the barrier to entry.

-jJ
Received on Friday, 31 October 2008 00:28:08 UTC

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