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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).
    and
  "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.

-jJ
Received on Wednesday, 16 September 2009 04:27:06 GMT

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