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Re: [whatwg] Proposal: Inline pronounce element (Tab Atkins Jr.)

From: Charles McCathie Nevile <chaals@yandex-team.ru>
Date: Fri, 06 Jun 2014 21:04:03 +0200
To: "Tab Atkins Jr." <jackalmage@gmail.com>, "Koji Ishii" <kojiishi@gluesoft.co.jp>
Message-ID: <op.xg1q81boy3oazb@chaals.local>
Cc: WHATWG <whatwg@lists.whatwg.org>, Nils Dagsson Moskopp <nils@dieweltistgarnichtso.net>, Brett Zamir <brettz9@yahoo.com>
On Fri, 06 Jun 2014 14:22:48 +0200, Koji Ishii <kojiishi@gluesoft.co.jp>  

> On Jun 5, 2014, at 22:08, Tab Atkins Jr. <jackalmage@gmail.com> wrote:
>> On Thu, Jun 5, 2014 at 11:29 AM, Nils Dagsson Moskopp
>> <nils@dieweltistgarnichtso.net> wrote:
>>> Brett Zamir <brettz9@yahoo.com> writes:
>>>> On 6/5/2014 3:05 AM, whatwg-request@lists.whatwg.org wrote:
>>>>> On Tue, Jun 3, 2014 at 3:26 AM, Daniel Morris
>>>>> <daniel+whatwg@honestempire.com> wrote:
>>>>>> There is currently no other text-level semantic that I know of for
>>>>>> pronunciation, but we have elements for abbreviation and definition.
>>>>>> As an initial suggestion:
>>>>>> <pronounce ipa=??a?p?d?>iPad</pronounce>
>>>>>> (Where the `ipa` attribute is the pronunciation using the
>>>>>> International Phonetic Alphabet.)
>>>>>> What are your thoughts on this,
>>>>> This is already theoretically addressed by <link rel=pronunciation>,
>>>>> linking to a well-defined pronunciation file format.  Nobody
>>>>> implements that, but nobody implements anything new either, of  
>>>>> course.
>>>> I think it'd be a lot easier for sites, say along the lines of
>>>> Wikipedia, to support inline markup to allow users to get a word
>>>> referenced at the beginning of an article, for example, pronounced
>>>> accurately.
>>> Is there any reason one cannot use the <ruby> element for  
>>> pronunciation?
>>> Example:
>>> <ruby>Elfriede Jelinek<rp> (</rp><rt>ɛlˈfʀiːdə ˈjɛlinɛk</rt><rp>)  
>>> </rp></ruby>
>> That's adequate for visually providing the pronunciation, but I think
>> the original request was for a way to tell screen readers and similar
>> tools how to pronounce an unfamiliar word.
> True, but one could still use <ruby> for its semantics, and visually use  
> the CSS to hide the pronunciations:
>   rp, rt, rtc { display: none; }

In general screen readers respect HTML. If you use display:none they will  
not render that content. So please do not do that.

Besides, the information is normally useful to people who can see it too -  
or who can partially see it.

> Screen readers may have supported reading text in <rt> instead of its  
> base text when they supported Japanese. At least some screen readers in  
> Japan does this.

The common use case for Ruby in both chinese and japanese, as far as I  
understand, is to provide pronunciation. I don't see why that would be  
inappropriate in general.

The last thing I saw in Wikipedia was "Ray and Maria Stata Center  
(/steɪtə/ stay-ta)". This seems like a pretty clear use case for ruby to  

There is also the "Pronunciation Lexicon Specification" which is a W3C  
Recommendation, but it would take some effort to get that into browsers,  
and the browser world seems to find XML too difficult these days so it may  
need to be re-done in another format.

Of course syntax is trivial - you could rebuild it as microdata, or RDFa,  
or something. The trick is getting people to agree on something they will  
implement. I don't recommend microdata because you can't mix vocabularies,  
and you may want to have e.g. schema.org data and pronunciation  
information for the same content. But

Charles McCathie Nevile - web standards - CTO Office, Yandex
chaals@yandex-team.ru         Find more at http://yandex.com
Received on Friday, 6 June 2014 19:04:41 UTC

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