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[whatwg] <blockquote cite> and <q cite>

From: Benjamin Hawkes-Lewis <bhawkeslewis@googlemail.com>
Date: Wed, 03 Jan 2007 11:03:42 +0000
Message-ID: <1167822222.26928.41.camel@galahad>
Anne van Kesteren wrote:

> Making quoting even more difficult is not better at all in my opinion.

Well, can you suggest an alternative way of associating different
instances of q, which may themselves contain citations from the quoted
material, with different instances of cite in the same paragraph?

If you want to make it simpler, you could keep the spec's suggested
semantics for q and cite so long as there is only one cite in the
paragraph. This could complicate formatting however. How would one
differentiate in-text references using cite with cite elements that one
wished to display as footnotes?

Of course, this syntax is /only/ "difficult" if you type in your excerpt
manually. Requiring ordinary end-users to do /any/ of the following
tasks by hand seems unrealistic:

1) construct conformant HTML

2) construct conformant OpenURL context objects

3) construct conformant hCite microformatting

4) correctly arrange and style their citation according to a given set
of style rules

To require them to do all of these things would be hopeless; number 4
alone is challenging and stressful enough for university students. This
stuff all needs to be handled by a command along the lines of "Paste
excerpt". (If you're looking for an example implementation, hold on to
your hat. I'm developing one for Hypertextuality, but am currently still
working on the backend bibliographic querying.)

If you do want to keep things really simple on the hand-coding end, the
cite attribute, not the cite element, is definitely the way to go, since
bibliographic information can be encoded in the URI (have a look at
OpenURL) and metadata can be retrieved by requesting the page in the
case of web addresses. Web Applications 1.0 could specifically require
browsers be able to retrieve, understand, and expose information from
OpenURL ContextObjects, Dublin Core, standard HTML META metadata, and
hCite. Styling might be rather vexing, however, although I suppose CSS3
could add relevant pseudo-classes if necessary?

I do recognize the cite attribute represents something of a break from
the conventions of print publishing, but then so does the href
attribute, and where would we be without that? :)

One solution to associating cite elements with quotations might be to
keep the cite attribute, but add a scheme (or something) by which the
cite attribute could refer to a URI for citation data rather than the
work itself. Then it could refer to a cite element via a fragment
identifier. (The reason to have q refer to cite rather than the other
way round is that you never have two cites to one q, but you often have
more than one q to a cite.) 

Benjamin Hawkes-Lewis
Received on Wednesday, 3 January 2007 03:03:42 UTC

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