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[CSS21] Features at risk: quote in CSS or Q in HTML

From: Karl Dubost <karl@w3.org>
Date: Wed, 13 Jul 2005 15:04:43 -0400
Message-Id: <DB48A18A-1AE7-496F-86A0-B74E0F051C49@w3.org>
To: www-style@w3.org

http://www.w3.org/TR/2005/WD-CSS21-20050613/

I see a danger here and a need maybe to coordinate with HTML WG.

[[[
Quotes
The 'quotes' property and the 'open-quote', 'close-quote', 'no-open- 
quote' and 'no-close-quote' keywords may be dropped.

]]]

In HTML 4.01, we can read

[[[
Visual user agents must ensure that the content of the Q element is  
rendered with delimiting quotation marks. Authors should not put  
quotation marks at the beginning and end of the content of a Q element.

User agents should render quotation marks in a language-sensitive  
manner (see the lang attribute). Many languages adopt different  
quotation styles for outer and inner (nested) quotations, which  
should be respected by user-agents.

]]] - http://www.w3.org/TR/1999/REC-html401-19991224/struct/ 
text.html#h-9.2.2.1


We know that this feature has never been implemented, or at least  
never fully inside browsers. Too complicated? Too much work? There's  
a running bug for Mozilla for a many years on that. IE 5 Macintosh  
had a partial implementation of it, with display problems.

Another way to see it for implementers is specifically to use CSS  
"quote" to specify the character to insert depending on the language.  
Then the author in the CSS, specify only what it needs and the  
implementers doesn't have to implement all possible cases.


So I wonder is it easier
     to implement quote in CSS 2, CSS 2.1?
     or to implement q in HTML 4.01?

Maybe a coordination between the two Working Group is necessary. If  
quote is dropped, I fear that Q becomes de facto obsolete in HTML  
4.01 for its rendering part (not the semantic one).

Another solution would be to drop quote in CSS, and to issue an  
errata (update) for HTML 4.01 saying that Q MUST NOT be rendered by  
user agents and that the author should take care of the quote  
characters to use (like in XHTML 2.0). Though this would mean  
authors, please fix all your documents on the Web.


-- 
Karl Dubost - http://www.w3.org/People/karl/
W3C Conformance Manager
*** Be Strict To Be Cool ***
Received on Wednesday, 13 July 2005 19:04:36 GMT

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