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Re: Semantic structure of 'Minutes of a Meeting'

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From: Michael D. Roush
Date: Aug 31, 2005 12:00PM


John Foliot - WATS.ca wrote:

>Here's a question for the list. I've been handed a document that is
>essentially the hand recorded minutes of a meeting. As presented, it
>takes the format of:
>
>Speaker 1: "blah blah blah"
>
>Speaker 2: "more mumble here"
>
>Speaker 1: "Response, etc."
>
>Speaker 3: "interjection here"
>
>...etc.
>
>I am struggling over how I would mark this up semantically. To my
>thinking I have a few choices:
>
>1) Each Speaker's "note" is a separate paragraph, coded like this:
> < p>Speaker 1: "blah blah blah"</ p>
> < p>Speaker 2: "more mumble here"</ p>
>
>2) Use a Definition list:
> < dl>
> < dt>Speaker 1:</ dt>
> < dd>"blah blah blah"</ dd>
> < dt>Speaker 12:</ dt>
> < dd>"more mumble here"</ dd>
>
>3) Use an Unordered List (as this *is* a transcript in jotted note
>form):
> <ul>
> < li>Speaker 1: "blah blah blah"</ li>
> < li>Speaker 2: "more mumble here"</ li>
> </ ul>
>
>4) Something else?
>
>
>
Hmmm, a puzzler.... But, it strikes me that if this was indeed a
meeting where minutes were recorded, there ought to have been (or it
should be apparent that there was) some sort of an agenda. Each agenda
item would be a heading (whatever level you are at. Some people would
argue they can be < h1>s, some people clamor that a page shouldn't have
more than one < h1> on it, the logic of which eludes me).

Below the heading (say, < h2>Agenda Item< /h2>), I would include
subheadings such as:
< h2>Agenda Item< /h2>
< h3>Discussion< /h3>
< p>Speaker 1: "blah blah blah"< /p>
< p>Speaker 2: "more mumble here"< /p>
< p>Willy: "Mumbler!"< /p>

I think the dialog makes more sense as paragraphs than anything else.
They are, I suppose, a "list" of things that were said, but they are not
semantically an unordered list, because they must appear in the given
order for them to make sense. The thing about an ordered list that
wouldn't make sense is the appearance of numbering, but that's a layout
issue, not a content issue.

< blockquote> springs to mind as well, but if the entirity of the
minutes as given to you is verbatim accounts of discussion, your
document would be nothing but blockquotes. If there are (as there
probably should be) summary notes of motions, votes, etc, then <
blockquote> sections under a "discussion" heading seems to make the most
logical sense to me.

Michael