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Re: Re: Some Notes On XHTML 2

From: Ryan J. Bury <ryan@rjbsoftware.co.uk>
Date: Mon, 23 Oct 2006 14:04:44 +0100
Message-Id: <54l55q$6ntiuf@mk-smarthost-1.mail.uk.tiscali.com>
To: "www-html-editor" <www-html-editor@w3.org>
>In Reply To Response From David Latapie:

Hi David,

   Thanks for the response...

>I think this is so minor it should not be addressed—I am not even  
>sure this is an issue, as citing and mentionning looks so close to me.

   True, for many cases - however, in the two extra examples I gave (numbered 1 & 2 in my original email to the list), I think there is sufficient difference in meaning.  But if the official recommendation given were to be to use the "cite" tag for these cases, I would be completely happy to do so - just so long as I'm sure that the issue has been at least considered.  Part of the elegance (as I see it) of XHTML2 is that each markup tag is very specific in its meaning, and so when using it, I would much prefer to know for sure that the tag I am using will always be interpreted correctly by readers.

   Also, I'm aware that raising this issue probably makes me appear to be highly pedantic, but I think that there is good reason to be as accurate as possible in all tag uses in a markup language whose main intention is to be specific.  If this issue were very uncommon, I would fully understand it being considered unimportant, but the use of italics to markup titles on the internet right now is very common, and I expect that many people would find it less intuitive to use "cite" (which is a tag most likely to be used when very specifically giving a citation) than just to markup the name of a book they've read, for instance.  It would be a shame to have people choose to continue to use deprecated tags like "<i>" for something with a specific meaning when that's exactly what XHTML2 is trying to avoid, and if they were to use "<span>" to simply style the text, then a whole level of meaning which should be implied by explicit markup is being lost, leading to readers relying on the markup for meaning in the text to entirely misinterpret what is being said (as suggested in my "Lord Of The Rings" example from my first email).

   But yes, as I've said, so long as the issue has been at least considered, and preferably noted in the XHTML2 documentation by the description for the "cite" tag, I'm entirely happy to go ahead and use "cite"!

   ...One possible suggestion would be to rename the "cite" tag to make its meaning broader...  After all, it already has a property also called "cite", so perhaps that could remain in order to specifically cite a work being referenced?  IE: "In <newtag cite="url">The Book</newtag>, the author writes: <quote>A quote.</quote>"  ...Actually, I really rather like this idea as a solution.

>(for CSS, see lang:not(en)	{font-style:italic} with some upgrades  
>that I suggested some weeks ago, like xml:lang with CSS, :not 
>(current_language) and font-style:reverse)

   This is a actually a use of the CSS "lang" class I had not considered at all, and does in fact completely solve that problem - thank you for bringing it to my attention!

   (It's a shame it seems to be unsupported by Internet Explorer though...  Ah well, no surprises there!)

>What's the difference with <cite>? My answer is the same as for #1:  
>don't bother, at least for now.

   Again, if the official recommendation for this case is to use "cite", then I shall - however, I think that (especially in this case) there is a major difference between the meaning intended and that suggested by the word "cite".

   Anyway, again, thank you for the responses - I've posted this reply to the list in order to keep the discussion of this topic and both of our points archived for public reading.  All the best, and I'll look forward to reading any further comments -

Regards,
   Ryan J. Bury

>Hello,
>
>I'll make it short, please don't consider it as aggressive—this is  
>not intended.
>
>Le 22 oct. 06 à 16:49, Ryan J. Bury a écrit :
>
>>    Now, under XHTML 2, the closest tag to make this distinction is  
>> the "<cite>" tag, but actually, in the sentences above, the speaker  
>> is not "citing" the film, as such - merely mentioning it.  Now, I'm  
>> aware that the distinction is highly pedantic, and you will likely  
>> suggest that the <cite> tag is in fact the correct markup for this  
>> use, my point is that the specific meaning implied by the italics  
>> in this case is just that the text within the tags is the title of  
>> an artistic work, rather than that it is a citation, and I feel  
>> that there should be a tag to define a title of this kind which is  
>> distinct from "<cite>".
>
>I think this is so minor it should not be addressed—I am not even  
>sure this is an issue, as citing and mentionning looks so close to me.
>
>>    The second use of italics when not (exactly) used for emphasis  
>> is in the situation where a writer uses a single word or phrase  
>> from a different language to that of the surrounding text, but the  
>> meaning is fully understandable within the language in which it is  
>> embedded, and so the author does not wish to markup that particular  
>> phrase alone as being in a different language, but merely to  
>> emphasise the fact that the root of the word is foreign.
>>
>>    For instance, the following phrases:
>>
>> "This item works fine on the test-bed, but how would it operate  
>> <i>in situ</i>?"
>> "Do we know whether this attack matches the killer's <i>modus  
>> operandi</i>?"
>> "I'll meet you <i>en route</i>."
>
><span xml:lang="RFC 639">
>
>(for CSS, see lang:not(en)	{font-style:italic} with some upgrades  
>that I suggested some weeks ago, like xml:lang with CSS, :not 
>(current_language) and font-style:reverse)
>
>>    The final, and somewhat more obcscure, perhaps, use of italics  
>> in English for which there is currently no explicit markup in  
>> XHTML2, is the denotation of a phrase as the name of a vehicle  
>> (especially a boat or plane).  In writing, it is common practice to  
>> display the name of a ship, for instance, in italics:
>>
>> "I was about to board the <i>Invincible</i>."
>> "The <i>Oceana</i> was a little boat, and old at that, but she  
>> remained seaworthy nevertheless."
>
>What's the difference with <cite>? My answer is the same as for #1:  
>don't bother, at least for now.
>
>
>Thank you for your comments, Ryan.
>
>-- 
></david_latapie>
>http://blog.empyree.org/   U+0F00

Received on Monday, 23 October 2006 13:03:02 GMT

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