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Re: <q> vs. <quote>, naming etc. (was Re: [www-html] <none>)

From: Tantek Çelik <tantek@cs.stanford.edu>
Date: Thu, 26 Sep 2002 17:28:41 -0700
To: Jelks Cabaniss <jelks@jelks.nu>, <www-html@w3.org>
Message-ID: <B9B8F448.1847A%tantek@cs.stanford.edu>

On 9/26/02 2:21 PM, "Jelks Cabaniss" <jelks@jelks.nu> wrote:

> 
> Tantek Çelik wrote:
> 
>> This is not just a naming issue.
> 
> Thanks for explaining this.
> 
>> The <quote> tag is NOT the same as the <q> tag.  Very
>> similar, but not the same.  The <q> tag is supposed to cause
>> the user agent to actually render quotes around the
>> quotation. Experience and research has shown that while this
>> could be seen as a nice help for authors to relieve them of
>> the burden adding in the proper quote characters for a
>> quotation taking into account depth, quoting styles of
>> different languages etc., the specific quotation marks to
>> use are still more of an art than a science, and are not
>> very well determined automatically by a user agent.  Thus
>> the transition from the HTML4 <q> tag to the XHTML2 <quote>
>> tag.
>> 
>> The <quote> tag, like the <blockquote> tag, does NOT cause
>> the user agent to render quotes.
> 
> I see why you did what you did in view of what HTML 4 advocates ...
> 
> http://www.w3.org/TR/html401/struct/text.html#h-9.2.2.1
> 
> ..., but although the behavior is slightly different with XHTML 2, the
> *semantics* (i.e., "inline quotation") are the same.  I'm not convinced
> it warrants a name change to <quote> instead of just an "errata fix" for
> <q>.

It is a very slight semantic difference, but it is there:

<q>: represents a quotation entirely, including the quotes surrounding the
quotation, which an author DOES NOT need to include inside the tag because
the user agent will render them for the author.

<quote>: represents just the text of a quotation, NOT including the quotes
surrounding the quotation.  Authors are encouraged to use CSS to display the
appropriate quotes around <quote> elements, and user agent SHOULD NOT render
any quotes for <quote> elements by default.
  
> [Aside: Opera and Mozilla do support the HTML 4 way of default styling
> of at least single-depth <q>'s quote marks. I don't know about MacIE,

IE5/Mac has supported <q> with any depth quote marks across languages (as
best as our research could do - which isn't too bad for English/European
languages) since March 2000.

> but with WinIE you *cannot* style <q> even yourself, because its
> developers apparently don't believe in :before & :after content.  Do you
> know if this situation will change?]

Neither IE5/Mac nor IE6/Windows supports :before or :after content.  I
cannot comment on whether this situation will change and when.

>> The author has to either style the <quote> tag with the
>> proper :before, content, quotes constructs for the context
>> in one place in a style sheet,
> 
> Which IMO is what one should do even today with <q>.

Agreed.

>> OR the author could insert the actual quotation marks
>> in the content around the <quote> element.
> 
> Yuck -- if you're going to put "..." (or other language-specific quote
> marks) around a quote, shouldn't that be "markup" enough? ...
> 
>   <p>You say <quote>"Goodbye"</quote>,
>   and I say <quote>"Hello"</quote>.</p>

By "around the <quote> element", I meant:

   <p>You say "<quote>Goodbye</quote>",
   and I say "<quote>Hello</quote>".</p>

> 
> ... seems a stretch.

I agree with the "yuck", but I just wanted to state for completeness what
some have said wrt the <quote> element even though I may not agree with it.

> But that's really beside the point, which is that considering the
> current [in]frequency of <q> usage, and the fact that we're still
> talking about inline quotes, can't we just leave it <q>?
> 
> <quote> sticks out like a sore thumb. :)

Some say that <quote> actually makes a nicer parallel to <blockquote>, and I
agree.  Of course others have suggested that we use <q> and <bq> instead.

I think it is just one of those minor changes that you get used over time to
and end up liking better than the old way.

Tantek
Received on Thursday, 26 September 2002 20:17:50 GMT

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