DIALOG Issues Which Have Already Been Submitted as Proposals (includes DL)


in light of recent discussion of DIALOG and DL, i would like to FORMALLY
re-submit the following 3-part proposal to the workin group:

* PART 1. dialog/dialogue element name disambiguation
* PART 2: Proposal - D: A Single-Letter Element Name for Dialogue
* PART 3: DL Should Give Structure to, Not Generically Indicate, Dialogue

PART 1. dialog/dialogue element name disambiguation

aria-dialog versus HTML5's dialog Element

   ISSUE: Currently, there is both an HTML5 element named dialog and an
   ARIA role named dialog. A concern has been raised that the use of such
   synonyms could be detrimental. The editor of the HTML5 draft, Ian
   Hickson, has publicly stated that he is willing to change the
   element's name, but also remarked that "dialog" was the best possible
   choice out of the many considered by the WHAT WG, and pondered the
   need for a "dialog box" element in HTML5 itself. [1.1] It has, 
   therefore, been proposed, that the aria role dialog retain the 
   spelling "d i a l   o g"; that the spelling "d i a l o g" be reserved
   in HTML5 for the   concept of a "dialog box", thereby bringing ARIA
   and HTML5 into   harmony; and that the HTML5 element currently named 
   "d i a l o g" be cchanged to reflect the correct spelling for the 
   semantic use for which    the element is intended, "d i a l o g u e", 
   which should be represented   by a single letter element -- D -- to 
   avoid confusion and unnecessary ] code bloat.

ITEM 1. Reasons for Retaining aria-dialog

    1. it is a term known to computer programmers and professionals when
       spelled "dialog"

    2. it is the preferred spelling for this construct in computer

         A. if one uses "dialog" as a search term at the online version
            of the <cite>Mirriam-Webster Dictionary</cite>, the
            Merriam-Webster entry on "dialog" [1.2] lists "dialogue" as
            the "main entry" [1.3], with a related entry "dialog box" 
            [1.4], which is a computing, not a semantic, term

    3. aria-dialog already has multiple implementations; HTML5's DIALOG
       element has none;

ITEM 2. Reasons for Changing HTML5's dialog Element to dialogue or D

    1. "dialogue" is the preferred spelling for the semantic meaning of
       the term "dialog" as currently used in the HTML5 draft;

         A. references:
              I. wikipedia entry on "dialog" resolves to "dialogue" [1.5]
             II. the Merriam-Webster entry on "dialog" [1.6] lists
                 "dialogue" as the "main entry" [1.7], with a related 
                 entry "dialog box" [1.8]

    2. since there are many different contexts in which D is an 
       appropriate element/container, the HTML5 dialogue element demands
       a role [1.9] or type attribute , in order to enable differentiation 
       between types of dialogue;

         A. a preliminary list of predefined role or type values for 
            D follows:
               * conversation
               * dialogue (covers theater, film, fiction, where the
                 element is used to distinguish dialogue from other types
                 of content)
               * transcript


   1.2. http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dialog
   1.3. http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dialogue
   1.4. http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dialog%20box
   1.5. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dialog
   1.6. http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dialog
   1.7. http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dialogue
   1.8. http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dialog%20box
   1.9. http://esw.w3.org/topic/PF/XTech/HTML5/RoleAttribute

PART 2: Proposal - D: A Single-Letter Element Name for Dialogue

   Note: Interactive discussion of this proposal is conducted on the D
   Element's Discussion Page [2.1].

   Rationale: Since a dialogue element would be used quite often, the
   shortest element name is the best element name for the semantic
   concept of "dialogue".

Element Requirements

   1. Dialogue, indicated by the single-letter element <D> ... </D>
   should not be limited to a block-level container; instead, D should be
   capable of serving as both a block level and an inline element, in
   accordance with the precedent set by: INS and DEL.

   Note: If it is decided that two distinct elements are needed -- one
   for inline use and one for block use -- then the simplest solution
   would be to use D inline (since it would be used quite often in a
   document instance) and DB or DBLOCK for block use. Since dialogue is
   dialogue, however, it would be preferable to have a single element to
   declaratively mark dialogue, and leave the rest to native structural
   elements and stylesheets. Therefore, throughout this document, D is
   used to indicate a dialogue element in both inline and block level

   2. There is a need for inline uses of D: Q is not an option in this
   case, as the characters aren't being quoted, they are engaging in a

<!-- begin example -->
<d class="csg">I think oysters are more beautiful than any
religion,</d> he resumed presently. <d class="csg">They not
only forgive our unkindness to them; they justify it, they incite
us to go on being perfectly horrid to them. Once they arrive at
the supper-table they seem to enter thoroughly into the spirit of
the thing.  There's nothing in Christianity or Buddhism that quite
matches the sympathetic unselfishness of an oyster.</d>
<!-- end example -->

   3. D provides a clear and necessary semantic marker in a
   generic/foundational declarative markup language -- it provides a
   declarative means of identifying text as dialogue, rather than leaving
   indications of dialogue embedded in prose to be indicated with
   character entity or unicode values (&#34; or u0022 or u0027, and so
   on) nor can one rely on extremely spotty implementation of the :before
   and :after pseudo-elements to generate quotes (which, because they are
   generated by CSS, will not be communicated to most assistive
   technologies, such as screen readers, so there will be no aural
   indication that a string of text is a bit of dialog as there would be
   if a D element is used;

<!-- begin example of inline dialogue -->
<p><d class="f2">So, then what happened?</d> she asked in a hoarse
whisper, sliding into a secluded booth.</p>

<p><d class="m1">Well,</d> drawled Marlowe, taking his seat, <d
class="m1">that's the odd thing -- nothing happened at all...</d>
<!-- end example of inline dialogue -->

   4. when used as a block level element, there needs to be a child
   element of D which can declaratively mark part of the text as not
   being dialog, such as stage directions, cues, description of
   non-verbal action, and so on; in the following example, ND ("not
   dialogue"), has been used and is being proposed to fill this need:

<!-- begin example -->
<dd><nd>[obviously lying]</nd> Sorry, we're just closing for lunch</dd>
<!-- end example -->

   5. since there are many different contexts in which D is an
   appropriate element/container, a dialogue element demands a "role" 
   [2.2] or "type" attribute, in order to enable differentiation between 
   types of dialogue; a very preliminary list of predefined role values 
   for D follows:
     * conversation
     * dialogue (covers theater, film, fiction, where the element is used
       to distinguish dialogue from other types of content)
     * transcript

<!-- begin example -->
<d role="transcript>
<dd>Did you have any conversation with Brothman to the effect that
this information was going to the Russians?</dd>
<dd>I remember once he asked me if the Amtorg people l1ked what
they were getting.</dd>
<dd>Did you ever identify yourself to him as one who had worked for
the Amtorg?</dd>
<dd>No, I never had. I was introduced to him as his Communist Party
superior, and he was to give me dues and information.</dd>
<dd>Did he give you his Communist Party dues?</dd>
<dd>Yes, he did.</dd>
<dd>On how many occasions, would you say?</dd>
<dd>That would be hard to say. It wasn't every week, but it might be
roughly every month.</dd>
<!-- end example -->

Related Wiki Pages

     * Added Element dialog (HTML wiki) [2.3]
     * dialog or dialogue (XTech wiki) [2.4]
     * role Attribute for HTML5 [2.5]

  2.1. http://esw.w3.org/topic/PF/XTech/HTML5/DDiscussion
  2.2. http://esw.w3.org/topic/PF/XTech/HTML5/RoleAttribute
  2.3. http://esw.w3.org/topic/HTML/AddedElementDialog
  2.4. http://esw.w3.org/topic/PF/XTech/HTML5/Dialogue
  2.5. http://esw.w3.org/topic/PF/XTech/HTML5/RoleAttribute


PART 3: DL Should Give Structure to, Not Generically Indicate, Dialogue

ISSUE: Currently, the DL element is used to indicate dialogue in the 
current public working draft of HTML5. Consult, for example, the 
examples provided in Section 4.6.26 [3.1] which use DL to indicate 
dialogue, without explicitly openening a DIALOGUE or D element.


   1. a DL is not a dialogue string, but a definition list; changing DL
   to indicate dialogue is breaking backwards compatibility;

   2. there is a need for DL as a definition list -- it should not be 
   watered down to specifically refer to dialog -- YES, dialogue can be 
   presented as a DL, where the DT is used to signify the speaker, and 
   the DD is used to contain the speaker's dialog, but that is using a DL 
   to give structure to the dialog, NOT a transfiguration of DL from 
   "definition list" to "dialogue"; such a change is unacceptable, as 
   definition lists are well suited to their long-established usage as 
   "definition lists": an efficient means of presenting information that 
   is often unnecessarily stuffed into gratuitous TABLE-ettes (as has 
   become the lamentable trend in specification publication)


<!-- HTML5 example of dialogue contained in a definition list,
     using text from Oscar Wilde's 'Importance of Being Earnest' -->

<d role="dialogue">
<dd>Why is it that at a bachelor's establishment the servants
invariably drink the champagne?  I ask merely for information.</dd>

<dd>I attribute it to the superior quality of the wine, sir.  I have
often observed that in married households the champagne is rarely of
a first-rate brand.</dd>

<dd>Good heavens! Is marriage so demoralising as that?</dd>

<dd>I believe it <em>is</em> a very pleasant state, sir.  I have had
very little experience of it myself up to the present.  I have only
been married once. That was in consequence of a misunderstanding
between myself and a young person.</dd>


   1. definition lists should give structure to dialogue, but use of a 
   DL to contain dialogue is only one method of giving structure to 
   the dialogue.

   2. that the element currently called DIALOG in the HTML5 draft be 
   replaced with D, a single letter element to indicate dialogue as 
   has been proposed. [3.2]


[3.1] http://www.w3.org/TR/html5/

[3.2] http://esw.w3.org/topic/PF/XTech/HTML5/D
 * related: http://esw.w3.org/topic/PF/XTech/HTML5/DDiscussion


CONSERVATIVE, n.  A statesman who is enamored of existing evils,
as distinguished from the Liberal, who wishes to replace them 
with others.         -- Ambrose Bierce, _The Devil's Dictionary_
             Gregory J. Rosmaita, oedipus@hicom.net
  Camera Obscura: http://www.hicom.net/~oedipus/index.html

Received on Thursday, 17 September 2009 18:22:30 UTC