W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-html@w3.org > September 2009

Speakers in Dialogues; citations

From: Jim Jewett <jimjjewett@gmail.com>
Date: Wed, 16 Sep 2009 00:25:59 -0400
Message-ID: <fb6fbf560909152125m22d44b2dj7f68cf4e199dd2f2@mail.gmail.com>
To: HTML WG Public List <public-html@w3.org>
Smylers wrote:

> That doesn't use any particular mark-up to convey which are speakers to
> readers; that can be inferred by being the text at the start of each
> bullet point before the colon.

That seems pretty visual.

> Users don't seem to be inconvenienced by
> browsers not knowing that those parts of the text are the speakers (any
> more than they don't know which words in the text are adverbs, or which
> have their roots in Latin).

If the dialog is being listened to (as opposed to read), then it is
much better to simply hear a switch in voices instead of hearing a
character's name and a pause.

>> ... while obstinately refusing the accept that the existing practice
>> of marking up cited people with the <cite> element is a viable option.

> As defined by HTML5, a user agent can treat the contents of a <cite>
> element as being the title of a work; if <cite> is expanded to do two
> distinct things (both titles of works and conversation speakers) ...

Why is it important to note that something is a title?  House styling
(or common print conventions) often require slight differences, but
that is also true of ship names; <span> is adequate and <i
class=title> more so.

The semantic purpose of a citation is an appeal to authority, or a
reference to the original source in case readers want to dig deeper.
Normally, that original source will be a written work, but not always.
 Citations to "Personal Communications" may not have a written
original.  Aphorisms are typically attributed to the author, rather
than to a collection in which they appeared.

A quick search just turned up both:

  "If you can't say anything nice, sit next to me." Alice Roosevelt
Longworth ( 1884-1980).
  "If you can't, say anything nice ... sit next to me." (Dorothy Parker)

Obviously, you can argue about the *correct* attribution of the quote,
but the speakers' names are pretty clearly citations, and also clearly
not linked to specific independently titled speeches or publications.

Received on Wednesday, 16 September 2009 04:27:06 UTC

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.1 : Wednesday, 7 January 2015 16:25:36 UTC