W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-html@w3.org > February 2004

Re: Correct usage of the q element

From: Christoph Päper <christoph.paeper@tu-clausthal.de>
Date: Fri, 13 Feb 2004 19:20:25 +0100
Message-ID: <004301c3f25e$0d90d8f0$3ef4ae8b@heim4.tuclausthal.de>
To: <www-html@w3.org>
Cc: "Jukka K. Korpela" <jkorpela@cs.tut.fi>

*Jukka K. Korpela*:
> On Thu, 12 Feb 2004, Ernest Cline wrote:
>
>> The problem is tho, support for transclusion is extremely limited at
>> present.
>
> Yes and no - there's the SGML way that always was formally part
> of HTML but was never supported,

Are you speaking about entities?

I wish they could be defined language dependent, thus

  <q lang="en">&sq;Life's a bitch. And then you die.&eq;</q>

would be rendered with high-66 and high-99, whereas in

  <q lang="fr">&sq;L'État, c'est moi.&eq;</q>

the entity references are computed to « + thin space and thin space + ».
That's IMHO nothing that should be handled on styling language level, although
CSS can do it when provided with suitable mark-up.

> If you write any software that tries to recognize quotations from
> Web pages, it would be just a theoretical exercise to play with
> <q> or <blockquote>, and the latter would give you wrong results
> far more often than not. Recognizing "..." would be much more relevant.

That's not as simple as you make it sound here, though, realizing the very
different pairings of quotation marks throughout the Latin alphabet world
(e.g. »...« vs. «...» vs. »...»). Even if you know the languages of the main
text and the quotations, in some languages short foreign phrases may be
surrounded by the marks used in the major language, while longer quotations
should use the marks of the language they're in. Furthermore some languages
use half quotation marks, that cannot be distinguished from apostrophes.

OTOH keyboard manufacturers have done a great deal to nearly extinct cultural
differences in this area, only defended by "smart" capabilities of word
processors a.t.l.

> Actually, I think it might be best to start from scratch.

That's probably not the worst idea, also regarding block vs. inline.

> (The whole block vs. inline distinction is a mess, and should not be
> carried over to any new markup elements.)

<del>element</del><ins>language</ins>
Received on Friday, 13 February 2004 13:19:41 UTC

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