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Re: Change back the semantics of <cite>

From: Leif Halvard Silli <xn--mlform-iua@xn--mlform-iua.no>
Date: Fri, 11 Sep 2009 00:55:12 +0200
Message-ID: <4AA983D0.9050500@xn--mlform-iua.no>
To: HTMLWG <public-html@w3.org>
Smylers On 09-09-11 00.16:

> Leif Halvard Silli writes:
> 
>> HTML 5 draft ... explains ... <cite> may only  be used for the title
>> of a work.
>>
>> I have just stumbled upon a problem in this regard when looking at the
>> <dialog> element, where <cite> would be the right element for singling
>> out the acting object:
>>
>>  <dialog><dt><cite>Leif</cite>, HTMLwg member
>>                 <dd>I propose <dl dialog> instead
>> </dialog>
> 
> Why would <cite> be the right element for that?


Because the current definition (aka HTML 4 definion) of <cite> is 
"name of a source" and includes people source. And source is a 
good name for each participant in a dialog. And because we try to 
use what we have before we try to invent something new.

> Why does your name need marking up at all there?


You'll find the answer in the thread and in bug 7508 and 7509. But 
I'll recap: The answer is the same the answer to why a it is 
necessary to use a <dfn> inside the <dt> - despite the fact that 
it is a _definition list_. Namely: If you stuff the <dt> with 
extra information - such as the draft gives examples for w.r.t. 
glossary lists - then it is necessary to single out which of the 
words in in <dt> that is being defined.

<dt><dfn>pop</dfn>, music<dd>A music genre
<dt><dfn>cat</dfn>, noun<dd>A well known house animal

Actually, the draft says that in a glossary one should _always_ 
use <dfn> - regardless of whether the <dt> contains only the 
exact, defined term or not. But otherwise it is the same idea that 
I am talking about.

 
>> Hence I propose the definition to change. The new text should say that
>> <cite> is not a mark-up for "name" or "person". However, it is an
>> element for marking up a source. And if the source is a person, then
>> <cite> may indeed be used to mark up the reference to that person.
> 
> Why is having such an element useful?


No one has so far suggested obsoleting <cite>.

 
> Having an element for marking up the titles of works is useful because
> they are usual formatted distinctly (typically italicized) in text, to
> convey to readers that the title is not 'normal' text.  Conveying that
> requires _some_ element.
> 
> Whereas people, even when sources, do not typically have their names
> distinguished.  So using a <cite> for both prevents it from being able
> to convey anything useful.

I feel that you had this answer ready made - I'm not sure if you 
have looked into why I asked for <cite> in this round. I arrived 
at this from an actual use case.

I have explained above why it can be necessary to single out who - 
in the  <dt> element of the dialog container element - is the 
source. But I can say more:

One will often, in a dialog, need to have different styles for 
participant versus other information. I have merely chosen the 
same approach as Ian suggests for glossaries in the draft: Single 
out the center word - the "defined term" so to speak - instead of 
marking up what is /not/ the center word.
-- 
leif halvard silli
Received on Thursday, 10 September 2009 22:55:53 UTC

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