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

From: Sam Kuper <sam.kuper@uclmail.net>
Date: Fri, 31 Oct 2008 14:54:56 +0000
Message-ID: <4126b3450810310754g4937abeg3d6f46ded2ee1c79@mail.gmail.com>
To: "Thomas Broyer" <t.broyer@gmail.com>
Cc: "public-html@w3.org" <public-html@w3.org>
2008/10/31 Thomas Broyer <t.broyer@gmail.com>

> As to identify quotation marks [...] it's actually "quite easy"


No, it really isn't easy. There's been plenty of traffic on the list about
why not, with examples.


> (you'd
> still have to add some heuristics I guess,


This is, I think, an inappropriate suggestion for a deterministic language
(HTML) or language set (HTML + CSS, etc).


> such as whether a quotation
> mark at the start –just before or at the beginning of the content– of
> Q is an opening/initial mark, or if a neutral or ambiguous one whether
> there is white space preceding it –a quotation mark 'attached' to a
> preceeding word is probably not an opening mark for the quotation–) to
> identify quotation marks around or within a Q element and determine
> whether to generate ones or not.


Doomed to be inaccurate in at least some cases (e.g. ambiguous ones).
Therefore, a very bad idea.


> In brief, I tend to believe that it'd be possible for UAs to generate
> quotation marks only when not already provided in content.


It would certainly be possible for a parser to check for the presence of
certain characters (from a defined list) in the content of the document, and
perform some action if none of those characters are present. In the context
of <q>, however, I don't think this would be a smart move. It assumes, for
example, that the characters in that list are the only characters that
represent quotation marks. I, as an author, wish to use some other
character(s) as quotation marks, say "QQQ" to open quotations and "qqq" to
close them, the assumption would be false.

Given that there's no need to make that sort of assumption, or to
"generate quotation marks only when not already provided in content" - as
you put it - I don't think HTML 5 should mandate this.

Regards,

Sam
Received on Friday, 31 October 2008 14:55:32 UTC

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