W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-html@w3.org > April 2007

Re: argument for deprecating BLOCKQUOTE in canonical HTML/XHTML

From: Elliott Sprehn <esprehn@gmail.com>
Date: Tue, 3 Apr 2007 06:09:02 -0400
Message-Id: <5771D744-4FA3-49F5-9903-3E7218DCFBDF@gmail.com>
Cc: public-html@w3.org
To: Gregory J. Rosmaita <oedipus@hicom.net>
On Apr 2, 2007, at 5:08 PM, Gregory J. Rosmaita wrote:

> F) BLOCKQUOTE, is - by definition -
> presentational in nature, and is used as a
> presentational, rather than a semantic element
> of document design slash implementation.  the
> print convention of seperating a quote of more
> than 3 sentences in a block of text, seperated
> from the main text by blank lines at top and
> bottom, with twice the whitespace on left and
> right margins, than the main text.  there is
> NOTHING semantically sensible about preserving
> BLOCKQUOTE, as a quote is a quote is a quote -
> what is important to the renderer is where does
> the quote begin and where does the quote end, so
> that appropriate style rules can be applied,
> either by default, specified by the author or
> subject to a client side styling rule; thus, it
> is up to the author, using CSS, to define the
> presentational characteristics a quote will
> take, if that author wishes to replicate the
> print convention of a BLOCKQUOTE.  the only
> thing that seperates a BLOCKQUOTE from a Q
> (quote) is how it is rendered by a user agent;
> despite its distinctive styling, a quote is
> still a quote, is still a quote, and canonical
> HTML/XHTML should recognize that simple fact.


I disagree. This type of separation is required for some document  
styles (MLA,APA). There are different rules for these types of quotes  
as well; An example is where the citation goes (before or after the  
last punctuation mark).

If we remove it then authors are forced to use <p><q  
class="blockquote">Some long quoted text here [...] </q></p> to get  
the same separated effect structurally which has different semantics  
because if we look at the general case <p>Some text here <q>inline  
short quote</q> some more text </p> the quote is now inline and not a  
block section of the document.

We have to remember that "block" as defined by CSS is not what  
"block" means in HTML. A block level element is a top level  
structural construct.
Received on Tuesday, 3 April 2007 10:09:08 UTC

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