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Re: Citing multiple <blockquote> elements in HTML5

From: Sam Kuper <sam.kuper@uclmail.net>
Date: Wed, 10 Sep 2008 18:30:18 +0100
Message-ID: <4126b3450809101030s2316cb2bt636786097fabaf8b@mail.gmail.com>
To: "public-html@w3.org WG" <public-html@w3.org>, whatwg@lists.whatwg.org

Dear all,

For some reason, the email set-up I used to send my previous message
(Gmail via Chrome) inserted "whitespace:pre" values into each
paragraph's style attribute. Depending upon your email client, this
may have rendered my email difficult/unpleasant to read.

My apologies for this. Quoted below is a (hopefully) plaintext copy of
the body of that email.

Sam

2008/9/10 Sam Kuper:
> Dear all,
>
> In the current HTML5 draft, section 4.4.6 The blockquote element
> (http://www.w3.org/html/wg/html5/#the-blockquote)
> 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
> (http://darwin-online.org.uk/content/frameset?itemID=F381&viewtype=image&pageseq=9).
>
> 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?
>
> NB. If I'm not the first to ask this question, I'd be grateful for a link to
> where it has been discussed previously.
>
> 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.
>
> Many thanks,
>
> Sam
Received on Wednesday, 10 September 2008 17:30:55 GMT

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