[whatwg] Thoughts on HTML 5

Smylers Smylers at stripey.com
Wed May 14 05:12:00 PDT 2008

Karl Dubost writes:

> Le 14 mai 2008 à 07:09, Ian Hickson a écrit :
> > That [<talk> is] 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).

Indeed; as a noun a "talk" seems to refer to a presentation more often
than the action of talking.  <talking> would be less subject to
misinterpretation, but the gerund form makes an awkward tag name.

> food for thoughts
> * <conversation> (probably too long)

It's more specific than 'dialogue', which might incorrectly suggest it
isn't appropriate to use it for dialogue that isn't a conversation.

> * <colloquy> 

Ditto, but also it's a less-well-known word and harder to spell!

> * <chat>      (probably too IRC, messenger oriented, though here
>                I suspect my own distortion field. People often says
>                "let's have a chat".)

People do say that.  But this element would also be the one used for
marking up Shakespeare's plays, and labelling them as "chats" seems a
touch barbaric.

> * <dialogue>  (was wondering if it was less geeky than dialog, not sure)

I think so, but that's because probably I'm from the UK where "dialog"
is a spelling mistake in general use, so only occurs in narrow technical
contexts.  Elsewhere HTML takes USA spellings ("color", etc), so it
would be bad to pick "dialogue" if most USA speakers would naturally
spell it "dialog".

(Though having either of them is likely to lead _some_ group to
accidentally using t'other spelling.)

> * <discourse> 

Too obscure/specific.

> * <speech> 

I quite like that.  It could be misinterpreted as "a speech" rather than
"some speech", but it may be the least-bad.

> * <converse> 

More commonly it's a verb than a noun, which makes it awkward.


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