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D: a single letter element name for dialogue

From: Gregory J. Rosmaita <oedipus@hicom.net>
Date: Wed, 28 Jan 2009 05:33:45 +0000
To: Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>, wai-xtech@w3.org
Cc: w3c-wai-pf@w3.org, public-pfwg-comments@w3.org, public-html@w3.org
Message-Id: <20090128051750.M45984@hicom.net>

aloha, ian!

i think i have a "solution" to the dialogue versus dialog impasse -- 
a single letter element name for dialogue (along with a child element
to signify what is not dialogue (such as stage directions) -- should i 
log this proposal as a bug?  i'd rather have it as an issue so that 
there can be speedy resolution of the question of what to name the 
element for marking dialogue in HTML5 should be BEFORE there are any 
implementations of the dialogue element (as opposed to at least 2 
implementations of the aria-dialog) and so that there is room in the 
HTML5 spec for a DIALOG property in the sense that "dialog" is 
understood by developers in a programmatic context...

how can we work together to ensure such an outcome for the proposal 
located at:

http://esw.w3.org/topic/PF/XTech/HTML5/D

the text of which is also included in this emessage...  note that 
whilst this suggestion is on the PF/XTech wiki, it has
not been endorsed by the PFWG or anyone else, although it has 
met with positive reviews and is, at heart, a very simple solution,

gregory.
     _________________________________________________________________

Proposal: D - A Single-Letter Element Name for Dialogue

   Disclaimer: This is a page in progress. Amongst other things, it is
   being offered as a solution for renaming HTML5's homophonic DIALOG
   element, and is a necessary addition to XHTML2. Please use the D
   Element's Discussion Page [1] to comment upon this document and the 
   ideas contained herein.

   Rationale: Since a dialogue element would be used quite often, the
   shortest element name is the best element name for the semantic
   concept of "dialogue".

   Contents
    1. Proposal: D - A Single-Letter Element Name for Dialogue
    2. Element Requirements
         1. DL Should Give Structure to, Not Generically Indicate,
            Dialogue
         2. Related Wiki Pages

Element Requirements

   1. Dialogue, indicated by the single-letter element <D> ... </D>
   should not be limited to a block-level container; instead, D should be
   capable of serving as both a block level and an inline element, in
   accordance with the precedent set by: INS and DEL.

   Note: If it is decided that two distinct elements are needed -- one
   for inline use and one for block use -- then the simplest solution
   would be to use D inline (since it would be used quite often in a
   document instance) and DB or DBLOCK for block use. Since dialogue is
   dialogue, however, it would be preferable to have a single element to
   declaratively mark dialogue, and leave the rest to native structural
   elements and stylesheets. Therefore, throughout this document, D is
   used to indicate a dialogue element in both inline and block level
   situations.

   2. There is a need for inline uses of D: Q is not an option in this
   case, as the characters aren't being quoted, they are engaging in a
   conversation.

<p>
<d class="csg">I think oysters are more beautiful than any
religion,</d> he resumed presently. <d class="csg">They not
only forgive our unkindness to them; they justify it, they incite
us to go on being perfectly horrid to them. Once they arrive at
the supper-table they seem to enter thoroughly into the spirit of
the thing.  There's nothing in Christianity or Buddhism that quite
matches the sympathetic unselfishness of an oyster.</d>
</p>

   3. D provides a clear and necessary semantic marker in a
   generic/foundational declarative markup language -- it provides a
   declarative means of identifying text as dialogue, rather than leaving
   indications of dialogue embedded in prose to be indicated with
   character entity or unicode values (&#34; or u0022 or u0027, and so
   on) nor can one rely on extremely spotty implementation of the :before
   and :after pseudo-elements to generate quotes (which, because they are
   generated by CSS, will not be communicated to most assistive
   technologies, such as screen readers, so there will be no aural
   indication that a string of text is a bit of dialog as there would be
   if a D element is used;

<!-- begin example of inline dialogue -->
<p><d class="f2">So, then what happened?</d> she asked in a hoarse
whisper, sliding into a secluded booth.</p>

<p><d class="m1">Well,</d> drawled Marlowe, taking his seat, <d
class="m1">that's the odd thing -- nothing happened at all...</d>
</p>
<!-- end example of inline dialogue -->

   4. when used as a block level element, there needs to be a child
   element of D which can declaratively mark part of the text as not
   being dialog, such as stage directions, cues, description of
   non-verbal action, and so on; in the following example, ND ("not
   dialogue"), has been used and is being proposed to fill this need:

<d>
<dl>
<dt>Shopkeeper</dt>
<dd><nd>[obviously lying]</nd> Sorry, we're just closing for lunch</dd>
</dl>
</d>

   5. since there are many different contexts in which D is an
   appropriate element/container, a dialogue element demands a [28]role
   or type attribute, in order to enable differentiation between types of
   dialogue; a very preliminary list of predefined role values for D
   follows:
     * conversation
     * dialogue (covers theater, film, fiction, where the element is used
       to distinguish dialogue from other types of content)
     * transcript

<d role="transcript>
<dl>
<dt>Donegan:</dt>
<dd>Did you have any conversation with Brothman to the effect that
this information was going to the Russians?</dd>
<dt>Bentley:</dt>
<dd>I remember once he asked me if the Amtorg people l1ked what
they were getting.</dd>
<dt>Donegan:</dt>
<dd>Did you ever identify yourself to him as one who had worked for
the Amtorg?</dd>
<dt>Bentley:</dt>
<dd>No, I never had. I was introduced to him as his Communist Party
superior, and he was to give me dues and information.</dd>
<dt>Donegan:</dt>
<dd>Did he give you his Communist Party dues?</dd>
<dt>Bentley:</dt>
<dd>Yes, he did.</dd>
<dt>Donegan:</dt>
<dd>On how many occasions, would you say?</dd>
<dt>Bentley:</dt>
<dd>That would be hard to say. It wasn't every week, but it might be
roughly every month.</dd>
</dl>
</d>
     _________________________________________________________________

DL Should Give Structure to, Not Generically Indicate, Dialogue

   1. a DL is not a dialogue string, but a definition list; changing DL
   to indicate dialogue is breaking backwards compatibility;

   2. there is a need for DL as
   a definition list -- it should not be watered down to specifically
   refer to dialog -- YES, dialogue can be presented as a DL, where the
   DT is used to signify the speaker, and the DD is used to contain the
   speaker's dialog, but that is using a DL to give structure to the
   dialog, not a transfiguration of DL from "definition list" to
   "dialogue"; such a change is unacceptable, as definition lists are
   well suited to their long-established usage as "definition lists": an
   efficient means of presenting information that is often unnecessarily
   stuffed into gratuitous TABLE-ettes (as has become the lamentable
   trend in specification publication)

<!-- HTML5 example of dialogue contained in a definition list,
     using text from Oscar Wilde's 'Importance of Being Earnest' -->

<d role="dialogue">
<dl>
<dt>Algernon</dt>
<dd>Why is it that at a bachelor's establishment the servants
invariably drink the champagne?  I ask merely for information.</dd>

<dt>Lane</dt>
<dd>I attribute it to the superior quality of the wine, sir.  I have
often observed that in married households the champagne is rarely of
a first-rate brand.</dd>

<dt>Algernon</dt>
<dd>Good heavens! Is marriage so demoralising as that?</dd>

<dt>Lane</dt>
<dd>I believe it <em>is</em> a very pleasant state, sir.  I have had
very little experience of it myself up to the present.  I have only
been married once. That was in consequence of a misunderstanding
between myself and a young person.</dd>
</dl>
</d>

<!-- XHTML2 example of dialogue contained in a definition list,
     using text from Oscar Wilde's 'Importance of Being Earnest' -->

<d role="dialogue">
<dl>
<di>
<dt>Algernon</dt>
<dd>Why is it that at a bachelor's establishment the servants
invariably drink the champagne?  I ask merely for information.</dd>
</di>

<di>
<dt>Lane</dt>
<dd>I attribute it to the superior quality of the wine, sir.  I have
often observed that in married households the champagne is rarely of
a first-rate brand.</dd>
</di>

<di>
<dt>Algernon</dt>
<dd>Good heavens! Is marriage so demoralising as that?</dd>
</di>

<di>
<dt>Lane</dt>
<dd>I believe it <em>is</em> a very pleasant state, sir.  I have had
very little experience of it myself up to the present.  I have only
been married once. That was in consequence of a misunderstanding
between myself and a young person.</dd>
</di>
</dl>
</d>
     _________________________________________________________________

Related Wiki Pages

     * [2]Added Element dialog (HTML wiki)
     * [3]dialog or dialogue (XTech wiki)
     * [4]role Attribute for HTML5
     _________________________________________________________________

References

 1. http://esw.w3.org/topic/PF/XTech/HTML5/DDiscussion
 2. http://esw.w3.org/topic/PF/XTech/HTML5/RoleAttribute
 3. http://esw.w3.org/topic/HTML/AddedElementDialog
 4. http://esw.w3.org/topic/PF/XTech/HTML5/Dialogue



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as distinguished from the Liberal, who wishes to replace them 
with others.         -- Ambrose Bierce, _The Devil's Dictionary_
----------------------------------------------------------------
             Gregory J. Rosmaita, oedipus@hicom.net
  Camera Obscura: http://www.hicom.net/~oedipus/index.html
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---------- Original Message -----------
From: Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>
To: wai-xtech@w3.org
Cc: w3c-wai-pf@w3.org, public-pfwg-comments@w3.org
Sent: Wed, 28 Jan 2009 02:37:15 +0000 (UTC)
Subject: <dialog> and the

> A couple of months ago it was pointed out that HTML5's <dialog> 
> and ARIA's "dialog" role are confusingly similar in name.
> 
> We (the HTML5 community) had previously tried to find a better 
> name for <dialog> to avoid this confusion, and I just went 
> through a series of proposals again trying to find a better name,
>  but I haven't been able to find a good alternative.
> 
> Is there any chance I could convince the you to rename the ARIA 
> role "dialog" to something more explicitly about dialog boxes 
> instead? e.g. "dialogbox" or "dialogwindow".
> 
> That would be of great help in keeping the vocabularies free of 
conflicts.
> 
> For background, this thread started here:
>    http://lists.whatwg.org/pipermail/help-whatwg.org/2008-
November/000151.html
> 
> Cheers,
> -- 
> Ian Hickson               U+1047E                )\._.,--....,
> '``.    fL http://ln.hixie.ch/       U+263A                /,  
>  _.. \   _\  ;`._ ,. Things that are impossible just take 
> longer.   `._.-(,_..'--(,_..'`-.;.'
------- End of Original Message -------
Received on Wednesday, 28 January 2009 05:34:28 GMT

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