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Re: <q>

From: Lachlan Hunt <lachlan.hunt@lachy.id.au>
Date: Sun, 26 Oct 2008 01:18:22 +0200
Message-ID: <4903A93E.20604@lachy.id.au>
To: Ben Boyle <benjamins.boyle@gmail.com>
CC: HTML WG <public-html@w3.org>

Ben Boyle wrote:
> Let me explain why I don't find q useful (why I think it could be deprecated).
> I could author this:
> <q lang="en">Hello world</q>
> And I could change the language:
> <q lang="fr">Hello world</q>
> If all worked to spec, the rendered quotation marks would change.

Actually, IIRC, the convention is to use the quotation marks of the 
surrounding language, not the language of the quote itself (even if the 
latter example had actually used a french quote).

> A passing suggestion: why not just define some entities... like &oquo;
> "an opening quote, based on the current language" and &cquo; for
> closing quotes.

Aside from the technical issues preventing the creation of such magical 
entity references that behave like that, the real issue is that it's 
quite difficult to get people to agree on which quotation marks should 
be used in which circumstances, particularly when considering nested 
quotes and the wide variaty of quotation marks in different languages. 
Leaving the decision up to the browser will inevitably result in the 
wrong quotation marks being rendered in a significant portion of cases. 
  This is the same fundamental problem as with the <q> element, which is 
itself a really bad solution to a non-existent problem.

The better solution is simply to give up on the <q> element, which 
doesn't seem to have any significant use cases beyond automatic quoting, 
and just require the author to type the appropriate quotation marks. 
This is what authors already do today given the limited support for <q> 
in some browsers, and there doesn't really seem to be any problems worth 
solving for which <q> is an appropriate solution.

Lachlan Hunt - Opera Software
Received on Saturday, 25 October 2008 23:19:09 UTC

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