XHTML2/Text/universal Q

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Q - Questions, Comments and Issues Regarding Sourced Text

Background

QUESTION 1

Is it feasible to use satisfy all use cases for marking sourced text using a single, universal element: Q?

In the Editor's draft of the XHTML2 Structural Model, Q is used in an example to indicate dialogue:

<p>John said, <q>"I saw Lucy at lunch, she told me
<q>'Mary wants you
to get some ice cream on your way home.'</q> I think I will get
some at Jen and Berry's, on Gloucester Road."</q></p>

but when a character in a document speaks, one is not quoting that character, but signifying that the enclosed text string is text which is being "spoken", "ennunciated", thought or otherwise expressed by that character.

COMMENT #1: There is a need for an element or mechanism that denotes speech and thought -- including dialogue, monologue, internal monologue, expressions of thought, etc. -- as the Q element is intended to demarcate actual quotations.

COMMENT #2: If Q is intended as a universal means of marking "sourced" text strings, then Q needs to have @role or @type values defined for it -- with the default being an implicit role or type value of "quote". This approach avoids the introduction of a new element for the purpose of demarcating "sourced" text strings, whether that "source" is a character in a story or play or an actual quotation.

COMMENT #3: This approach is labor-intensive an causes code bloat -- although many aspects of a Q are shared by the proposed explicit demarcation of actual "sourced" quotes (Q) and an explicit element for all types of human expression (thought, speech, dialogue, monogogue, etc.) using D - a single letter element to indicate dialogue

2.1) Preliminary List of role/type values for a universal Q element

  • Q role="speech" / type="speech"
  • Q role="thought" / type="thought"
  • Q role="transcript" / type="transcript"
  • Q role-"dialogue" / type="dialogue"

2.1.1. Note: the implicit/default role or type value for Q is role="quote" / type="quote"

As for use of quotes for irony or emphasis, such text-strings should be marked up as emphasized text using the EM element, as that is what the use of quotation marks in a headline such as:

Kane Found in Love Nest With "Dancer"

denotes: emphasis. (Note that one can always assign a class value, such as "em-quote" or "air-quote" to the emphasized phrase to generate renderable quotation marks using CSS's :before and :after pseudo-elements)

2.2) Example of Q used with type/role "speech" (reused from Primer)

<p>John said, <q type="speech" class="john">"I saw Lucy at lunch, she 
told me <q type="speech" class="mary">'Mary wants you to get some ice 
cream on your way home.'</q> I think I will get some at Jen and Berry's, 
on Gloucester Road."</q></p>

ISSUE #3: comment or explanatory information contained within Q

A universal Q element also necessitates a standardized means of indicating an inserted comment or explanatory information contained within the containing Q:

3.1) first, this use case may be satisfied simply by indicating through the use of the SPAN element, in conjunction with the "role" of "complementary", to indicate that what is contained in the SPAN is not part of the Q:

3.1.A) Example: the disambiguation of an individual who is referred to in the original Q by pronouns using SPAN with the "role" of complementary

   <p>According to Foote, <q cite="http://historian.org/Foote/Gettysburg"
   >By the time he <span role="complementary">[J.E.B. Stuart]</span> 
   reached Lee's headquarters at Gettysburg, the tide of battle had 
   turned against the Confederates, due in no small part to his <span 
   role="note">[Stuart's]</span> failure to provide Lee with intelligence 
   as to the disposition and movements of Federal troops the enire first 
   two days of the three-day battle.</q></p> 

3.1.A.1. Note: "note" was considered for the use case outlined immediately above, and i'm (personally) am not quite satisfied by use of "complementary", as that role comes from WAI-ARIA and is intended to be applied to content that doesn't have a role="main" but which is related to the content, such as side-bars, illustrations, family trees, etc. which can be read in isolation or included as part of the document flow -- for further details, please consult the XHTML Vocabulary document)

Does "note" or "complementary" suffice, or is there a need for more specific values, such as "commentary", "annotation", "aside" -- or can all of these usages be genericized into something simpler?

3.2) An alternate approach would be to either add a child element for Q -- which would enable a page author to indicate stage directions, emotional states, and other pertinent information the author desires to be communicated to the reader as a means of contextualizing the quote -- or to reuse an element familiar to authors from HTML/XHTML: INS; the question is, would such an approach be sufficient for actual quotations, as well as "spoken" text? In the case of an actual quotation, where text is added to disambiguate or contextualize text, the INS element is semantically sensible, as it is insertion of text that does not appear in the original quotation.

3.2.A) Example: the disambiguation of an individual who is referred to in the original Q by pronouns using INS with the "role" of "complementary"

    According to Foote, <quote>By the time he <ins role="complementary" 
    >[J.E.B. Stuart]</ins> reached Lee's headquarters at Gettysburg, the 
    tide of battle had turned against the Confederates, due in no small 
    part to his <ins role="complementary">[Stuart's]</ins> failure to 
    provide Lee with intelligence as to the disposition and movements of 
    Federal troops the enire first two days of the three-day battle.</quote> 

But does use of INS make sense when used to demarcate non-speech content contained in a block of dialogue, or should such cases be handled in the preceding proposed manner, using SPAN and the role "complementary"

3.2.B) Example: non-speech content contained in a block of dialogue cannot adequately be conveyed by the INS element, as defined in HTML 4.01/XHTML 1.0 and the XHTML2 "Legacy Editing Module"; if not INS, is it back to good old SPAN?

    <dl> 
    <di> 
    <dt>Customer</dt> 
    <dd><q type="speech">I wish to register a complaint.</q> 
    </di> 

    <di> 
    <dt>Shopkeeper</dt> 
    <dd><q type="speech">I'd love to help you sir...  but 
    <span role="complementary">[obviously lying]</span> we're 
    just closing for lunch.</q></dd> 
    </di> 

    <di> 
    <dt>Customer</dt> 
    <dd><span role="complementary">[incredulous]</span> <q 
    type="speech">Closing for lunch?  What do you mean closing 
    for lunch?  You just opened the store for business, and 
    <span role="complementary">[checking his wrist-watch]</span> 
    it's not even five past nine!</q></dd> 
    </di> 
    <!-- ... --> 
    </dl> 

ISSUE #4: Nested Quotes

4.1) The issues surrounding the nesting of quotes needs to be more fully investigated and discussed/described in the Structural Module. Can a Q be a child of a Q? Is there a limit to such nesting, and how does it relate to CSS? There are several contexts in which quotes will be nested no matter what the type value assigned to Q;


ISSUE #5: Quotations that span more than the element in which it was opened?

5.1) How does one indicate that a Q spans more than the element in which it was opened? this can often be messy, as in the following example attempts to illustrate -- note that some of the Q declarations "logically" span the end of the element in which it was declared -- how are these to be handled?:

   <p id="verse5"> 
   <l><q type="speech" class="keeper">Something ails my gracious 
   master,</q> cried the Keeper of the Seal.</l> 
   <l><q type="speech" class="keeper">Sure, my lord, it is the 
   lampreys served at dinner, or the veal?</q></l> 
   <l><q type="speech" class="canute" its:translate="no">Psha!</q> 
   exclaimed the angry monarch.  <q type="speech" class="canute"
   >Keeper, 'tis not that I feel.</q></l> 
   </p> 

   <p id="verse6"> 
   <l><q type="speech" class="canute">Tis the heart, and not the dinner, 
   fool, that doth my rest impair:</l> 
   <l>Can a King be great as I am, prithee, and yet know no care?</l> 
   <l>Oh, I'm sick, and tired, and weary.</quote> -- Someone cried, <q 
   type="speech" class="crowd">The King's arm-chair!</q></l> 
   </p> 

   <!-- ... --> 

   <p class="verse" id="verse13"> 
   <l><q type="speech" class="canute">Nay, I feel,</q> replied King 
   Canute, <q type="speech" class="canute">that my end is drawing 
   near.</q></l> 
   <l><q type="speech" class="crowd">Don't say so,</q> exclaimed the courtiers (striving each to squeeze a tear).</l> 
   <l><q type="speech" class="crowd">Sure your Grace is strong and lusty, and may live this fifty year.</q></l> 
   </p> 

Does every L demand a new Q declaration, or can one use Q as a flow element, functioning in the manner of INS and DEL in HTML 4.01/XHTML 1.0? If so, how do i mark up the following three lines from a ballad?

"Leading on my fierce companions," cried he, "over storm and brine, 
I have fought and I have conquered! Where was glory like to mine?" 
Loudly all the courtiers echoed: "Where is glory like to thine?" 

this can't be correct:

 <p id="verse8" class="verse"> 
 <l><q type="speech" class="king">Leading on my fierce companions,</q> 
 cried he, <q type="speech" class="king">over storm and brine,</l> 
 <l>I have fought and I have conquered! Where was glory like to mine?</q></l> 
 <l>Loudly all the courtiers echoed: <q type="speech" class="crowd" 
 >Where is glory like to thine?</q></l>
 </p> 

If one follows the rules of nesting elements, one is left with bloated, as well as redundant -- both for the page author and the parser, which may be set for a voice characteristics switch -- code not to mention "breaking" the semantic concept of a Q:

 <p id="verse8" class="verse"> 
 <l><q type="speech" class="king">Leading on my fierce companions,</q> 
 cried he, <q type="speech" class="king">over storm and brine,</q></l> 
 <l><q type="speech" class="king">I have fought and I have conquered! 
 Where was glory like to mine?</q></l> 
 <l>Loudly all the courtiers echoed: <q type="speech" class="crowd" 
 >Where is glory like to thine?</q></l>
 </p>