Re: <q>

(disclaimer: I'm far from being an expert in typography)

On Tue, Oct 28, 2008 at 2:51 PM, Ben Boyle wrote:
> On Tue, Oct 28, 2008 at 11:32 PM, Justin James wrote:
>> I misspoke... my problem is with the idea of <q> inserting any kind of
>> punctuation.
> I know where you're coming from. Worth remembering this handy css: quotes: none;
> Others can use this to specify quote marks they want.
> All catered for already in the specs.

Remember people asking Ian to add "BIG ISSUE" within the HTML instead
of having it as generated content from CSS?

>> Huge problems with this, as noted above. In addition, what about UAs that
>> use a default stylesheet different from what the author expects?
>> Or do not use CSS at all?
> Any browsers in this category that would actually render quotes in the
> first place?
> I can understand the problem in theory, but I think it's something
> we're unlikely to encounter.

Such as plain/text extractors (are already in use to transform HTML
mails to plain/text)? XSL-T (where you use xsl:value-of for example)?
They're unlikely to process some CSS or have defaults for <q>.

In French, quote characters are required for quotations (well, there
are variants actually, see below), so you'd better use:
   Il me disait « <q>Bonjour !</q> » en passant.</q>

But as I said above, there are allowed variants. First, dialogs can be
marked up with an mdash:
   — Comment vas-tu ?
   — Bien, et toi ?
   — Pas trop mal, merci.

You can also use italics instead of quotes, generally when there's
only a single quotation level (using "/" to denote italics, à la
   Il me disait /Bonjour !/ en passant.

There's also the "problem" of <blockquote>. In French, you should use
an « on each paragraph and an » on the last one (see the example in, which with
CSS3 Selectors can be rewritten as "blockquote p:last-of-type::after"
instead of "blockquote p.last::after")

That being said, I come to the conclusion that… I don't know what is
better: having q "generate" the quote characters (which allow styling
in italics without said quotes if you want) or not (which makes it
easier to extract plain/text out of HTML, as you'd have inserted the
punctuation within the content, except if you chose to use italics

> Yep, well, you don't have to use <q>. Use punctuation instead of markup.

…but <q> allows you to link to the citation source, would you use
punctuation and an <a> instead of markup?

> ps: Thanks to those for answering the english/french nesting question.
> Appreciate that.

…and resolves to a contradiction with the spec:
   Quotation punctuation (such as quotation marks), if any, must be
placed inside the q element.

Thomas Broyer

Received on Tuesday, 28 October 2008 15:40:29 UTC