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Re: Presentation of Q

From: Chris Lilley <Chris.Lilley@sophia.inria.fr>
Date: Mon, 5 May 1997 20:54:25 +0200 (MET)
Message-Id: <9705052054.ZM1140@grommit.inria.fr>
To: Daniel Hale <dhale@pobox.com>, "Chris Lilley" <Chris.Lilley@sophia.inria.fr>, <www-style@w3.org>
On May 5, 10:48am, Daniel Hale wrote:

> Chris Lilley wrote:

> >> Quotes marks DO have meaning!
> >
> >No, quote marks by themselves do not reliably indicate meaning, as
> >you will see if I describe myself as six feet four inches tall (6'4").
> >In plain text, I agree, meaning has to be inferred from quote marks.
>
> *Quote* marks do indicate meaning - very reliably.

Ok,if they are encoded specifically as quotes and theat code position
is not used for any other semantic meaning. These conditions are not
met, in general, hence my example above.

> Inch and foot marks
> (or primes and double primes) don't indicate quoting very well, because
> 1. they serve triple duty as typewriter-style quotations, inch and foot
> marks, and lat/lon minutes and seconds; and 2. primes aren't "open" and
> "closed" as are true typographic quotes. Your example uses inch and foot
> marks, but not quotes.

Granted, although note that the Unicode character names of the two
characters I used are 'quotation mark' and 'apostrophe, =apostrophe-quote'.
However, the Unicode spec does indicate that correct typographic quote
marks are prefered.

I think you will find most inline quotes at present use the ASCII
characters " and ' though.

> One problem is that we can't address true quotes with current markup (am
> I right about this?).

Actually no, (depending on how you define current).

> Mac, Unix, and Windows all use different character
> maps for these characters. Unicode, please, as fast as possible!

But since HTML 2.0 the document character set has been defined as Unicode;
and the distinction between the transfer encoding (various, indicated by the
charset parameter) and the document character set (one single one,
Unicode) has been clear in the specifications since HTML 2.0 so what a
particular platform uses is largely irrelevant - a remapping is required
from, for example, the latin-1 character A with ring to the code position
used on a paticular platform for that character. This is what happens now
with web browsers.

A consequence of this is that numeric character references always refer to
Unicode, regardless of the charset used to encode the document. Thus, for
example, an opening single quotation mark U+2018 can be written today
as (unfortunately we have to convert to decimal) &#8216; although whether
a particular browser will render that correctly depends on how good it's
Unicode support is (to which the answer is probably, poor but improving).

> Perhaps good quote markup should also automatically substitute French and
> German quoting (for example) when the UA is a French or German version.

Yes, precisely. Using <Q lang=fr>stuff</Q> gets you french quotes.


-- 
Chris Lilley, W3C                          [ http://www.w3.org/ ]
Graphics and Fonts Guy            The World Wide Web Consortium
http://www.w3.org/people/chris/              INRIA,  Projet W3C
chris@w3.org                       2004 Rt des Lucioles / BP 93
+33 (0)4 93 65 79 87       06902 Sophia Antipolis Cedex, France
Received on Monday, 5 May 1997 14:54:34 GMT

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