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[whatwg] notation for typographical uncertainty

From: Brian Campbell <Brian.P.Campbell@dartmouth.edu>
Date: Mon, 21 Sep 2009 01:40:49 -0400
Message-ID: <FF57DDB5-7489-475E-B312-A8C740049E85@dartmouth.edu>
On Sep 20, 2009, at 8:43 PM, ddailey wrote:

> Ya'll probably have dealt with this already but here is the usage case
>
> My son and I are are typing my recently deceased Dad's memoirs from  
> the Manhattan project.
>
> I'm saying to son: "if you can't figure out what it says, type the  
> characters you are sure about. Use '?' marks for the letters that  
> you aren't sure about."
>
>  Ultimately this is ASCII with the most minimal of markup.
>
> Question: what markup will be least cumbersome (and hence most  
> recommended) within a plain text document that may ultimately be  
> converted (automagically) to HTML5, assuming, in the meantime, that  
> we may stoop so low as to put it in HTML4. I know folks claim HTML5  
> will never break the web, but those folks and I have some beer to  
> drink before we see eye to eye on that subject, having seen the web  
> break so many times in the last 1.7 decades since I started playing  
> with HTML at NCSA. Let us say I am a skeptic.
> cheers
> David

I'm rather confused about what your question is. Are you asking if you  
can use question marks as an ad-hoc markup for unknown characters?  
There's nothing in HTML5 that will break that usage, so that should be  
fine. But I don't think that there's been anything in the history of  
HTML that has gone so far as appropriating formerly legal characters  
for markup. Can you point to such an example?

Is there a particular form of breakage that you are trying to avoid?  
HTML5 does obsolete a few features, though none that I think should be  
relevant to the use case that you provided, and it documents how  
browsers must render obsolete features which have worked in the past,  
so that features being made obsolete does not break anything that  
already works. If you can find examples in the draft of this not being  
the case, you should probably point those out.

-- Brian
Received on Sunday, 20 September 2009 22:40:49 UTC

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