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Re: [whatwg] Citing multiple <blockquote> elements in HTML5

From: Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>
Date: Sun, 30 Nov 2008 10:07:31 +0000 (UTC)
To: Sam Kuper <sam.kuper@uclmail.net>
Cc: "public-html@w3.org WG" <public-html@w3.org>, whatwg@lists.whatwg.org
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.62.0811300950000.17414@hixie.dreamhostps.com>

On Wed, 10 Sep 2008, Sam Kuper wrote:
>
> In the current HTML5 draft, section 4.4.6 The blockquote element states, 
> "If a <blockquote> element is preceded or followed by a single paragraph 
> that contains a single <cite> element and that is itself not preceded or 
> followed by another blockquote element and does not itself have a <q> 
> element descendant, then, the title of the work given by that <cite> 
> element gives the source of the quotation contained in the <blockquote> 
> element."
> 
> Now, I think that being able to use a <cite> element to give the source 
> of a <blockquote> element's contents is a useful step forward for HTML, 
> and I approve of its being introduced in HTML5.
> 
> However, I'm not sure that the criteria for determining the <cite> 
> element are the best ones, as it looks to me as though they will rule 
> out a common literary usage of block quotes: using a number of block 
> quotes from different authors to preface a work or part of a work. Such 
> usage is evident, for instance, in this book.
> 
> If I understand section 4.4.6 correctly, then having:
> 
> <blockquote>First quote.</blockquote>
> <p>First quote's author: <cite>First quote's reference</cite>.</p>
> <blockquote>Second quote.</blockquote>
> <p>Second quote's author: <cite>Second quote's reference</cite>.</p>
> <blockquote>Third quote.</blockquote>
> <p>Third quote's author: <cite>Third quote's reference</cite>.</p>
> 
> in an HTML5 file will mean that only the third of these <cite> elements 
> will be used as the reference for its preceding <blockquote>, because it 
> is the only one of the three in a single paragraph "that is itself not 
> preceded or followed by another blockquote element and does not itself 
> have a <q> element descendant". This strikes me as problematic. How, in 
> a case like this, should one mark up the block quotes and their 
> references, without introducing extraneous elements?
> 
> As a preliminary suggestion, perhaps it would be better if the spec 
> said, "If a <blockquote> element is followed by a single paragraph that 
> contains a single <cite> element and that is itself not preceded or 
> followed by another blockquote element and does not itself have a <q> 
> element descendant, then, the title of the work given by that <cite> 
> element gives the source of the quotation contained in the <blockquote> 
> element." It is, after all, normal in English and a number of other 
> widely-used languages (though I cannot vouch for all languages - perhaps 
> others will have some useful insights here) for the citation to be given 
> following a block quote, where one is given.

I've removed the offending text.

I don't think we can say that quotes should always come before their 
citations. For example, it's easy to imagine a blog that says:

   <p><cite>Book The First</cite> says:</p>
   <blockquote>...from book 1...</blockquote>
   <p>But <cite>Book The Second</cite> says:</p>
   <blockquote>...from book 2...</blockquote>

...which is equally problematic.

Frankly, I'm not sure this was solving any real problems anyway.

-- 
Ian Hickson               U+1047E                )\._.,--....,'``.    fL
http://ln.hixie.ch/       U+263A                /,   _.. \   _\  ;`._ ,.
Things that are impossible just take longer.   `._.-(,_..'--(,_..'`-.;.'
Received on Sunday, 30 November 2008 10:08:08 GMT

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