[whatwg] Thoughts on HTML 5 - dialog

Ernest Cline ernestcline at mindspring.com
Tue May 13 16:45:09 PDT 2008

-----Original Message-----
>From: Ian Hickson <ian at hixie.ch>
>Sent: May 13, 2008 7:20 PM
>To: Ernest Cline <ernestcline at mindspring.com>
>Cc: whatwg at lists.whatwg.org, Paweł Stradomski <pstradomski at gmail.com>
>Subject: Re: [whatwg] Thoughts on HTML 5 - dialog
>On Tue, 13 May 2008, Ernest Cline wrote:
>> The only synonym of dialog that is anywhere near as general seems to be 
>> <discourse/>.
>I dunno, that just sounds so formal.
>I agree that <dialog> isn't perfect and could be (and has been) confused 
>with dialog boxes, but I'm not convinced it's not the best name for the 
>job anyway.

I agree that the word "discourse" is more formal than "dialog", but it does cover both formal and informal speech unlike some other thesaurus inspired possibilities such as "colloquy" or "chat".  It does have the advantage over dialog of avoiding the spelling issue and the computer term issue.  If those issues end up being judged sufficient to make <dialog/> undesirable, then <discourse/> seems to me to be the best alternative available among English words.  Of course, if words were abandoned altogether <d/> would also be a possibility.

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