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Re: a quote is a quote is a quote [was Re: Cleaning House]

From: Jason A. Lefkowitz <jason@jasonlefkowitz.net>
Date: Thu, 03 May 2007 15:44:11 -0400
Message-ID: <463A3B8B.1000302@jasonlefkowitz.net>
To: public-html@w3.org
I did read your original proposal; I even tried to participate in the 
ensuing discussion [1], but nobody responded to my message.  Thanks for 
recapping your points, though; let me try to take them individually:
> a quote is a quote is a quote: one element should be sufficient to 
> quote indicate a block of content that's not original to the document 
> it's embedded in unquote -- that's the very definition of a quote;
If we were starting from a blank slate, I'd be inclined to agree, but we 
already have two elements (BLOCKQUOTE and Q), and the WHATWG's 
WebApps1.0 spec adds at least one more (DIALOG -- there may be others, 
I'm still going through the spec).

> BLOCKQUOTE is presentational in nature;
I disagree. As I noted above, it clearly has meaning beyond the 
presentation that's attached to it in the default stylesheet. At a 
minimum, it's no less semantically meaningful than Q, a hypothetical 
QUOTE, or any other element that separates out quoted content.

> BLOCKQUOTE is a hold-over from print conventions WITHOUT semantic 
> meaning (unless you call an arbitrary number of sentences seperated 
> from the main text by blank lines and indented margins semantically 
> meaningful);
This seems like a restatement of your point #2.
> why not a single Q or QUOTE element that flows (can serve as an 
> inline or block element such as INS and DEL (at least in HTML4x);
Because (1) we already have two elements, (2) a non-trivial number of 
existing documents use the two elements, (3) having two elements doesn't 
break anything in particular, and (4) the usage of the two elements 
don't overlap -- one is for inline content and the other for block 
content. You're right that INS and DEL are examples of elements which 
can be inline *or* block-level depending on the context, but the HTML 
4.01 spec clearly calls this out as a wart, not a feature: it says 
"These two elements are unusual for HTML in that they may serve as 
either block-level or inline elements (but not both)." [2] We should be 
cutting down the number of elements that behave in ways "unusual for 
HTML", not creating new ones, IMHO.

-- Jason Lefkowitz

[1] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-html/2007Apr/0201.html
[2] http://www.w3.org/TR/html401/struct/text.html#h-9.4

Gregory J. Rosmaita wrote:
> please take the time to read my original proposal, archived at:
> http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-html/2007Apr/0102.html
> as well as the threaded discussion that it sparked.
Jason A. Lefkowitz
web: http://www.jasonlefkowitz.net
email: jason@jasonlefkowitz.net

"A statesman... is a dead politician.
Lord knows, we need more statesmen." -- Bloom County 

Received on Thursday, 3 May 2007 19:46:45 UTC

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