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RE: Expected behaviour of quotation marks

From: Tex Texin <textexin@xencraft.com>
Date: Thu, 7 Apr 2016 11:45:49 -0700
To: "'John Cowan'" <cowan@mercury.ccil.org>, <ishida@w3.org>
Cc: "'Dave Cramer'" <dauwhe@gmail.com>, "'W3C Digital Publishing IG'" <public-digipub-ig@w3.org>, "'www International'" <www-international@w3.org>, <textexin@xencraft.com>
Message-ID: <005801d190fd$b4e865f0$1eb931d0$@xencraft.com>
I share John's disdain for the q element, although rather than saying it is broken, I think it is impractical. Perhaps others can share some use cases where it makes sense to use it.

If I have a quote embedded in text, then I generally know the language of the surrounding text and may as well use a literal quote in that text. (Assuming you believe the outside quotes follow the surrounding language.)

For example, if I have a database of sayings which I use to populate a page. Something like: <author> said <saying>. Eg. Newton said "All objects resist changes in their state of motion."
Since I know the word "said" is in English, I could supply the literal English quote characters as well. A resource string might look like-     saying: %1 said "%2"
Using the q element instead of the literal would only complicate the programming and likely introduce errors.
I have trouble finding simple and useful cases where it makes sense to use the q element.

The case of a quote embedded in a quote surprisingly makes more sense, if you follow the model that the inner quote should follow the language of the outermost language. This case introduces the need to know the variable and unknown-until-the-time-of-rendering outermost language identifier. As is pointed out though, accessing the outermost language identifier is problematic.

Where are the cases where the q element is a solution to a problem? Ie Where the first level quote characters are for some reason independent of the surrounding text and so need to be programmatic, or where the second or third level quotes need to follow the language of the first level quotes, and are able to do so, given the language identifier is replaced by the intermediate language identifier?


-----Original Message-----
From: John Cowan [mailto:cowan@ccil.org] On Behalf Of John Cowan
Sent: Thursday, April 07, 2016 7:58 AM
To: ishida@w3.org
Cc: Dave Cramer; W3C Digital Publishing IG; www International
Subject: Re: Expected behaviour of quotation marks

ishida@w3.org scripsit:

> <p>Mais Lucy répond: <q lang=en>Give George my love – once only.
> Tell him, <q>Muddle.</q></q>.</p>

The moral is that the q element is broken and shouldn't be used.

John Cowan          http://www.ccil.org/~cowan        cowan@ccil.org
Deshil Holles eamus.  Deshil Holles eamus.  Deshil Holles eamus.
Send us, bright one, light one, Horhorn, quickening, and wombfruit. (3x) Hoopsa, boyaboy, hoopsa!  Hoopsa, boyaboy, hoopsa!  Hoopsa, boyaboy, hoopsa!
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Received on Thursday, 7 April 2016 18:46:24 UTC

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