Re: BLOCKQUOTE and Q

Dave Raggett (dsr@w3.org)
Mon, 22 Sep 1997 09:48:51 -0400 ()


Date: Mon, 22 Sep 1997 09:48:51 -0400 ()
From: Dave Raggett <dsr@w3.org>
To: Jordan Reiter <jreiter@mail.slc.edu>
cc: www-html@w3.org
In-Reply-To: <l0311070ab04b71628f6f@[192.168.1.117]>
Message-ID: <Pine.WNT.3.95.970922093806.-205749A-100000@hazel.hpl.hp.com>
Subject: Re: BLOCKQUOTE and Q

On Sun, 21 Sep 1997, Jordan Reiter wrote:

> Instead, a better solution would be to use the &quot; entity,
> which to my understanding correctly adapts the rendered quote
> symbol according to the language of the text. 

&quot; is defined as the character entity for " (ASCII decimal 34)
and doesn't adapt to the language. It is therefore not a general
solution.

> For blockquotes, more problems arise.  To begin with blocks of
> text *aren't* supposed to be enclosed in quotes.

This is a question of style, as in many cases it is appropriate to
enclose the quotation in quote marks. The HTML 4.0 provides
the following informative suggestions:

  Quotation marks: We recommend that style sheets implementations
  provide a way to insert quotation marks before and after a
  quotation delimited by Q or BLOCKQUOTE in a manner appropriate to
  the current language context (see the lang attribute) and the
  degree of nesting of quotations. 

  However, as some authors have used BLOCKQUOTE merely as a
  mechanism to indent text, in order to preserve the intention of
  the authors, user agents should not insert quotation marks in
  the default style.

The intent is to give authors control over the quote marks via
style sheets.

> And long sections of quotes (with more than one paragraph) would
> be pretty difficult to render, as with some languages the
> beginning of each paragraph receives an opening quote mark.

You will note above the phrase "in a manner appropriate to the
current language context". 

Regards,

-- Dave Raggett <dsr@w3.org> http://www.w3.org/People/Raggett
phone: +44 122 578 2521 (office) +44 385 320 444 (gsm mobile)
World Wide Web Consortium (on assignment from HP Labs)