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Re: Structure vs Semantics

From: Ernest Cline <ernestcline@mindspring.com>
Date: Thu, 11 Dec 2003 13:41:23 -0500
Message-ID: <410-2200312411184123781@mindspring.com>
To: "Chris Mannall" <chris.mannall@hecubagames.com>, www-html@w3.org
Cc: lachlan.hunt@iinet.net.au


I'm in the middle of writing what I hope will be a definitive
examination of the quote issue.  I haven't finished, but I am
now leaning towards the idea that we need to  have quote
marks added by the user agent.  Intervention by the user agent 
appears to be required to ensure a correct presentation, with
optional styling then being used if desired to provide a different
correct presentation that is more to the author's liking.
I'll give my reasons later.

In the meantime, until I'm ready to post that, let me respond
to a few points here.


> [Original Message]
> From: Chris Mannall <chris.mannall@hecubagames.com>
>
> Lachlan Hunt wrote:
> > 
>
> 	Was so-and-so correct when he said "such and such?"
>
> 	Was so-and-so correct when he said "such and such"?
>
> This could be seen as solvable by either including the question mark
> in the <q> element or not, but I don't think it's as simple as that. The 
> question mark isn't part of the quotation, so I don't see that it should 
> be included in the <q> element, but I may still wish to *present* the 
> quotation in the first form.

Actually, no.  The usual rule in English  for punctuation other than
"," and "," is that it is placed inside the quotation marks only if it is
part of the quote.

That the usual rule is often violated is a problem, but not one that
is solvable by XHTML.  However, your example has given me
yet another thing to think about.

> >   As for the point about <div> as the parent element of a quote,
perhaps 
> > the decision could be made to make the *default* presentation of 
> > elements such as quote, block in such situations where either block or 
> > inline is equally likely, and inline for where there is a tendency of 
> > usually being inline, such as within <p>.  However, since this would be 
> > a presentational issue, if the default style is incorrect, the author
is 
> > able to apply CSS to correct it.

As long as we make certain that the default presentation will be correct,
if not necessarily from the author's viewpoint optimal, then the only
concern I have about styling is that if there are several ways of
achieving a correct presentation, will one be easier to apply styling to?

Any solution which is dependent upon the availability of styling to
achieve correctness is not acceptable.

> > Ernest Cline 2003-12-10:
> > 
> >> The problem is that with the structure of XML, it is impossible to
> >> allow <a><b/></a> and <b><c/></b> while banning <a><b><c/></b></a>.
> >> (At least via an XML DTD there is no way to do this. Does XML
> >> Schema or Relax NG provide a mechanism to do this?)
>
> This is a limitation of DTDs, not a problem with the proposed content 
> model. Note that there are already a number of limitations with DTDs 
> that are being encountered as XHTML evolves, not least of which is the 
> complexity involved in creating modular DTDs as seen with Modular XHTML 
> and now with the need to integrate XHTML and XForms (and potentially 
> XLink, and SVG, and...)
>
> I don't think the inability to express something in a DTD should be seen 
> as a reason not to take that direction: rather as an argument for 
> dropping DTD support and moving to more sophisticated mechanisms for 
> document validation.

It is a limitation of XML DTD's, but not of SGML DTD's which XML DTD's
are a subset of.  If other XML document validation mechanisms allow
such rules to be specified then the rules for XML DTD's should be
revised to support this as well, as the ability was available in the
original DTD capability.

> If the only difference between a "block" quote and an "inline" quote is 
> what they're allowed to contain, then surely we can *deduce* whether an 
> instance of a quote element is block or inline based on its content?

Not unless we restrict the content  model of quote to something like

(Block*) | (PCDATA|Inline)*

It's a different content model than has been traditional, but it might
serve.
Received on Thursday, 11 December 2003 13:43:47 GMT

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