[whatwg] Thoughts on HTML 5 - dialog

Ernest Cline ernestcline at mindspring.com
Tue May 13 16:13:38 PDT 2008

-----Original Message-----
>From: Ian Hickson <ian at hixie.ch>
>Sent: May 13, 2008 6:09 PM
>To: Paweł Stradomski <pstradomski at gmail.com>
>Cc: whatwg at lists.whatwg.org
>Subject: Re: [whatwg] Thoughts on HTML 5
>On Tue, 13 May 2008, Paweł Stradomski wrote:
>> W liście Ian Hickson z dnia wtorek 13 maja 2008:
>> > >     * I understand the concept of the <dialog/> element but it's named
>> > > completely wrong. The point is to markup a conversation between two or
>> > > more parties. The problem is that the word "dialog", when in used in
>> > > user interfaces, refers to small windows that can be interacted with.
>> > > When I first read about this element, I assumed it was a way to indicate
>> > > that part of the page is a dialog window outside of the normal flow of
>> > > the document (which I thought was cool). After reading the rest, I was
>> > > disappointed to find out that wasn't the intent. I'd rename this element
>> > > as <conversation/> or <discussion/> to avoid such misunderstandings.
>> >
>> > I agree that the name is suboptimal but those names are worse (they're 
>> > too long, and they're overly specific). I'm not sure what to do about 
>> > this.
>> Perhaps <talk> ? Short and simple, although not exactly equal in meaning 
>> to <dialog>.
>That's probably the best suggestion so far, but I'm still not convinced 
>it's really much better than <dialog>. I think it has at least as many 
>other interpretations (e.g. what we call a "talk" over here is really a 
>slide show).

The only synonym of dialog that is anywhere near as general seems to be <discourse/>.  The other possibility is <dialogue/> since the computing uses that cause confusion seem to have standardized on the shorter spelling.

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