Re: Wish List for New Spec

Scott E. Preece (preece@predator.urbana.mcd.mot.com)
Tue, 2 Jan 1996 09:07:44 -0600


Date: Tue, 2 Jan 1996 09:07:44 -0600
From: preece@predator.urbana.mcd.mot.com (Scott E. Preece)
Message-Id: <199601021507.JAA22448@predator.urbana.mcd.mot.com>
To: dmandl@panix.com
Cc: philipp@res.enst.fr, BearHeart@bearnet.com, www-html@w3.org
In-Reply-To: dmandl@panix.com's message of Sun, 31 Dec 1995 12:51:41 -0500
Subject: Re: Wish List for New Spec

   From: dmandl@panix.com (David Mandl)

|   At 8:01 AM 12/30/95, Philippe-Andre Prindeville wrote:
|   >What?  One of us has misunderstood something here.  What about
|   ><q lang=fr>Fous le camp, quitte vite et plus t&ocirc;t que cela
|   >Nos honn&ecirc;tes Ardennes.</q>
|   >
|   >Since the context is obviously French, the quote will be
|   >enclosed in "<<" and ">>"...
|
|   But in this case, the "<q lang=fr>" is an exact synonym for "<<", isn't it?
|   It doesn't buy you anything.  I thought the original intention of <q> was
|   to make documents language-independent, which is something that can't be
|   conveyed with entities alone.  What your example says is "Substitute French
|   quotation marks for the <q lang=fr>."  OK, so why not just type in the
|   French quotation marks yourself?  The only advantage I can see is that if
|   there's some client or computer that can't display those actual characters,
|   it can substitute other ones.  But why can't it substitute another
|   character for the _entity_?
---

The point is that the quoted material is no longer language-independent,
the quoter has indicated that it is to be used in a particular way.
This is *not* the same as just inserting the appropriate quotation
characters, since the use of markup, rather than hard coded characters,
still allows the UA to present the typographically best form of quoting
it can, for the indicated context.  For French this might make no
difference (I don't know whether the '<<' is actually typeset as two
less-than signs or is a special character), but for an English quotation
in a French document it would allow the US to present real quotation
marks or ASCII double quotes, depending on its abilities.

The other reason for using the Q element, instead of entities, is that
it allows USa to know that the material is a quotation.  This would
allow a tool to, for instance, search only quoted material, exclude
quoted material from a concordance, or present quotations in more styled
ways than just changing the quote ccharacters (setting them in another
font, for instance, or on a different background, or as sidebars, or
using different rules to decide when to blockquote and when to inline
quote).

scott

--
scott preece
motorola/mcg urbana design center	1101 e. university, urbana, il   61801
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