[whatwg] Dialogue and inline quotations
michel.fortin at michelf.com
Wed Nov 1 07:41:30 PST 2006
Le 31 oct. 2006 à 16:26, Henri Sivonen a écrit :
>> I know it has already been discussed, but I'd suggest this:
> What benefits do consumers of HTML get from knowing that something
> is a dialog?
> What tangible benefits can authors see from marking up dialogs as
> dialogs? That is, what is the incentive to bother?
> If most authors are not incentivized to mark up their dialogs as
> such, is there still enough value for consumers of markup if only
> relatively few dialogs are marked up as dialogs?
Those are legitimate questions.
People have asked how to markup dialogs for a long time, but many are
reluctant to use <dl> because it is named "definition list" and a
dialog has absolutely nothing to do with a definition list (basically
a dialog does not define anything, and it isn't a list more than a
couple of adjacent paragraphs form a list).
Well, if it comes that <dl> can be used for dialogs, fine. But I
believe that introducing a <dialog> element will makes things
clearer, as HTML4 has explicitly proposed the use of <dl> for dialogs
and many people still find that dumb.
Is there a value in knowing something is a dialog? Not always, that's
certain. But in certain contexts it is important for styling as
there's no punctuation to tell what is a dialog and what is not.
That's when <dl> was used.
> Why not just use punctuation for the quotations?
Indeed. I rarely use <q> myself. But I know other people who do. Why
is there a <q> element in the first place? Sometimes I wonder.
Picking up a different voice in screen readers could be one reason.
But now that I reread the spec, <q> is possibly inappropriate for
dialogs: "The <q> element represents a part of a paragraph quoted
from another source". Does fictional dialog speech qualifies for a
quote from another source? I don't know. So maybe I should have used
quotes characters instead of <q>.
And, for the same reasons, I'm not sure anymore that <cite> is
appropriate in a dialog. Maybe it could be said that <cite> has a
special meaning inside a <dialog> element.
> If printed text in French (and other languages) works with the
> dialog dash style
> without visual hints where you put the <q> and </q> tags, why would
> an author
> want to go though the trouble of tagging the dialog like that and
> then making sure
> that any styling on the <q> element is suppressed?
As Øistein suggested, text could be italicised (as some newspapers
do), or as I suggested above it could be used to speak the text in
another voice (which could be useful even in a novel). The <q>
element may be inappropriate for dialogs however, both semantically
(refers to another source?) and visually (automatically-inserted
quotation marks). And thus these were my two points:
1. there is no way to distinguish quoted text in a quotation from
material inserted within the quotation marks;
2. there is no way to identify a dialog, and to identify inside a
is spoken text and what comes from the narrator (I made some
using <q> inside <dialog> in my first post, but my conclusion is
<q> doesn't seem appropriate for this, because of the quotes and
because of the semantics of <q>).
I'm not sure yet what could be proposed for this, but it'd be nice if
a similar markup can be used for quotations and other spoken text.
(And it'd be nice if such markup can work in Internet Explorer
without ugly hacks. )
>> <p><cite>Mary:</cite> So where do you want to go tomorrow? I
>> can tell
>> you already have something in mind.</p>
>> <p><cite>Mark:</cite> What makes you think that?</p>
> Why is that better than <dl>?
And why is <dl> better than that?
If you don't care about semantics, they're probably equivalent: both
have decent default styles. If you care about semantics, using <dl>
for dialog removes every bit of meaning left in <dl> as "an unordered
list of associations".
michel.fortin at michelf.com
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