[whatwg] Element-related feedback; attribution element

Ian Hickson ian at hixie.ch
Tue Aug 3 16:46:04 PDT 2010

On Fri, 14 May 2010, Jim Jewett wrote:
> >>
> >>     Evil Lawyer:  So, when did you stop beating your wife?
> >>     Defendant:  Never!
> >>
> >> "Evil Lawyer" and "Defendant" aren't pronounced.  Their meanings (and 
> >> silence) are deduced from English conventions about punctuation.  I 
> >> would prefer a semantic tag.
> >
> > Why? What problem would a semantic tag solve? The default styling here 
> > seems to not need any particular element; the above is perfectly 
> > understandable as is as far as I can tell.
> For written output, yes, the convention works.
> Ideally, a screen reader should *not* read the attribution labels -- but 
> it should use them to switch voices.

You can in theory do that today using classes and Speech CSS. Do people do 
it? If not, it's not clear that there's enough demand to add this yet.

> >> I'm expecting [scripts] to do something like increase the font size 
> >> or change the background for lines *I* have to memorize for *my* 
> >> character [based on the semantic marked in the page identifying the 
> >> character], or for cue lines that I have to recognize.
> > 
> > Are there any examples of this in the wild? Since this is technically 
> > possible today, if it's a use case important enough that we should 
> > address it, it should be easy enough to find examples of this.
> > 
> > I'm very reluctant to provide features for hypothetical problems that 
> > don't stem from a real market need. (If we start solving such 
> > problems, we would fast find ourselves on the path to feature bloat.)
> I haven't acted much since finding the internet.  I have seen plenty of 
> printed scripts in which this was done manually with a highlighter for 
> rehearsals.  I would expect today's equivalent to be done at time of 
> printing, rather than by a helpful web site.

Highlighting someone's lines can be done using <mark>.

> So the need is there; the question is whether the need is too 
> specialized (like the various poetry elements) ... if the only use were 
> scripts, I would say that it was too specialized, but I would also use 
> it for photo credits (the italicized captions), etc.  Whether that then 
> makes it too much of a catchall element -- maybe.

Credit for a photograph and the name of the speaker in a script seem like 
wildly different use cases with very little, if any, overlap. I don't 
think it makes sense to consider them together.

> >> I would expect it to be used by some scrapers looking for stock 
> >> photos.
> > 
> > I'm not sure what you mean. Wouldn't fingerprinting the photos be more 
> > effective?
> I was thinking of scrapers acting on behalf of a consumer -- collecting 
> a bunch of photos that you would be allowed to use.

This is a mostly solved problem today -- sites like Flickr and Google 
Image Search provide license filters in their search tools.

> Plenty of model and photographer websites are largely devoted to finding 
> each other; I assume that this is because photographers are looking to 
> find (and then contact) models with a particular look, while models are 
> looking to be photographed by photographers skilled in a certain style. 
> Again, this seems like a fairly specialized need, but I've seen in on 
> several sites, and it again gets met by an attribution or credits 
> element.

This seems like an incredibly specialised need that is best solved by 
special-purpose databases and tools than by the Web's markup language.

Ian Hickson               U+1047E                )\._.,--....,'``.    fL
http://ln.hixie.ch/       U+263A                /,   _.. \   _\  ;`._ ,.
Things that are impossible just take longer.   `._.-(,_..'--(,_..'`-.;.'

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