This is an archived snapshot of W3C's public bugzilla bug tracker, decommissioned in April 2019. Please see the home page for more details.

Bug 7508 - <dialog> needs a way to add non-speech related information
Summary: <dialog> needs a way to add non-speech related information
Alias: None
Product: HTML WG
Classification: Unclassified
Component: pre-LC1 HTML5 spec (editor: Ian Hickson) (show other bugs)
Version: unspecified
Hardware: All All
: P2 major
Target Milestone: LC
Assignee: Ian 'Hixie' Hickson
QA Contact: HTML WG Bugzilla archive list
Keywords: NE, NoReply
Depends on:
Reported: 2009-09-06 22:16 UTC by Leif Halvard Silli
Modified: 2010-10-04 14:57 UTC (History)
6 users (show)

See Also:


Description Leif Halvard Silli 2009-09-06 22:16:13 UTC
<dialog> offers a way to mark up dialogs - person and his/her words.

However, dialogs consist of more than exchange of words. "Join" and "leave" a dialog are example os "speak actions" that belongs in a dialog. For instance, if someone says "Finally" after someone leaves, then  that is an example of how there are more telling things in a dialog than the words that are uttered.

Currently a <dt> is permitted "Before dd or dt elements inside dl elements." While in <dialog> it is may not come after another <dt>: "Before a dd element inside a dialog element." 

<dialog> and <dl> should permit <dt> in same contexts. And <dt> should be permitted to contain "additional info" related to the participants of the dialog (more than the currently permited <time> element). The draft should also have examples of how to author dialogs with additional related to the acts of the dialog participants.


  <dt><time>14:22</time> Leif (ironically)</dt><dd>I see.</dd>
  <dt><time>14:23</time> Leif leaves the chat.</dt><!-- no dd here -->
  <dt><time>14:24</time> Stephen </dt><dd>Finally ...</dd>

Related e-mail:
Comment 1 Olivier Gendrin 2009-09-08 17:28:24 UTC
I approve the idea behind this bug report, but I think that we more need (for theater as an example) in inline way to express this (as the example given by Leif shows : "Leif (ironically)" : the word "ironically" is an play indication).

Why not an <indication> tag ? <annotation> ? <note> ?
Comment 2 Leif Halvard Silli 2009-09-09 01:47:11 UTC
(In reply to comment #1)


Rather than marking up the periphery with e.g. an <annotation> element, authors should mark up the center, with <cite> - in analogy with how the draft proposes to use <dfn> in glossary lists:

     <dt><time>14:22</time> <cite>Leif</cite> (ironically)</dt><dd>I see.</dd>


<dialog>, like <dl>, is a name/value list. Each <dt> represents an act in that dialog. The act is bound to a name (in the name/value sense of "name") which represents a participant/some participants (usually represented by name(s) of the participant[s]). The act of each participant took place at a particular place in time and space and was performed in a certain manner . By default the act of each participants is neutral word utterance. In those cases, the <dt> only needs to contain the name of the acting participant. If the act is not a neutral utterance - or if it doesn't involve word utterance at all, it must be noted inside <dt> beside the participant name.

The value part in these name/value pairs, are the word utterances of the participants. (After all, the purpose of the <dialog> element is to identify speech/utterance.)

Now, you propose to single out what, inside <dt>, that represent indication/annotation/notes. However, there is another method: For <dl>, if it is being used to create a list of defined words - a glossary - then the draft recommends to single out the defined word using the <dfn> element. From the draft per today <>:

       <dt><dfn>Flat</dfn>, n.</dt><dd>A deflated tire.</dd>

The "n." in the above example becomes extra information - annotation/notes - that helps you to decide/see/understand which exact word that is being define. And analogously, for <dialog>, instead of marking up what is annotation (the periphery), one could mark up  what the center is - the participant name(s) - to repate the example from the exectutive summary:

     <dt><time>14:22</time> <cite>Leif</cite> (ironically)</dt><dd>I see.</dd>

Regarding <indication>/<annotation>/<note>, is such an element  linked any more to <dialog> than to other elements? It could eventually be needed many places and could deserve its own bug report. But at the same time it strikes me that we have many "note elements" already. For example <aside> ... And may be <figure>. That none of them are allowed inside <dt> is another problem ... 
Comment 3 Leif Halvard Silli 2009-09-09 11:51:35 UTC
(In reply to comment #0)

> <dialog> and <dl> should permit <dt> in same contexts. 
       [ ... ]
>   <dt><time>14:23</time> Leif leaves the chat.</dt><!-- no dd here -->

To make <dialog> and <dl> fully equal w.r.t where <dt> is allowed and how it is used, this has to be defined different from the proposal above. Namely subsequent <dt>'s has to be considered alternatives. 

Thus, in the above example, there would have to be an empty <dd> to indicate lack of speech:

     <dt><time>14:23</time> Leif leaves the chat.</dt><dd></dd>

While one could mark up alternative representations of the dialog participants using subsequent <dt> elemetns - for instance if the participant should be written in two different languages:

<dialog><dt lang="it"><cite>Pinocchio</cite></dt>
                <dt lang="ru"><cite>&#1055;&#1080;&#1085;&#1086;&#1082;&#1082;&#1080;&#1086;</cite></dt>
                <dd lang="it">[ speech in Italian ] </dialog>

This is equivalent to how the draft gives examples for how to define the English and the French word for color:

<dl><dt lang="en-US"> <dfn>color</dfn> </dt> 
          <dt lang="en-GB"> <dfn>colour</dfn> </dt>
          <dd> [ definition in English ]</dl>

The same goes for <dd>, for which <dialog> has a limitation on where it may appear, compared with <dl>. <dialog> should permit a <dd> to follow another <dd> also inside <dialog>. This could be used to express alternatives - the participant may say - or may have said - this, or he/she/they may have said that. Or it could represent what was said in different languages.
Comment 5 Ian 'Hixie' Hickson 2009-09-15 11:05:22 UTC
I nuked <dialog> altogether, per bug 7548.
Comment 6 Maciej Stachowiak 2010-03-14 14:50:42 UTC
This bug predates the HTML Working Group Decision Policy.

If you are satisfied with the resolution of this bug, please change the state of this bug to CLOSED. If you have additional information and would like the editor to reconsider, please reopen this bug. If you would like to escalate the issue to the full HTML Working Group, please add the TrackerRequest keyword to this bug, and suggest title and text for the tracker issue; or you may create a tracker issue yourself, if you are able to do so. For more details, see this document:

This bug is now being moved to VERIFIED. Please respond within two weeks. If this bug is not closed, reopened or escalated within two weeks, it may be marked as NoReply and will no longer be considered a pending comment.