Re: Comments on HTMl 4 draft (9/Nov/1997)

Jukka Korpela (
Tue, 20 Jan 1998 07:53:40 +0200 (EET)

Date: Tue, 20 Jan 1998 07:53:40 +0200 (EET)
From: Jukka Korpela <>
In-Reply-To: <>
Message-ID: <>
Subject: Re: Comments on HTMl 4 draft (9/Nov/1997)

On 20 Jan 1998, Peter Flynn wrote:

> Correct. CITE is an original Berners-Lee element, I think: it's been
> there from the very beginning.

Yes, it's contained at least in the June 1993 draft for HTML
(which is roughly what people mean by "HTML 1.0" I suppose, although
the document itself does _not_ carry that name),

On the other hand, CITE has never been defined adequately. By
"adequate" I mean a formulation which is understandable to the Internet
community without assumed knowledge of the nuances of the English
language as used by native speakers. I'd say that people have more
often misunderstood CITE as being for quotations than got the intended
meaning. I wouldn't have got it right without patient explanations
from helpful people. I consulted quite a many dictionaries and they
all described "cite" more or less synonymous with "quote". Therefore,
in a specification intended for a worldwide audience, some wording
more descriptive than just "citation" would be needed. Well, a reader
of HTML 4.0 spec has better chances to get it right than a reader of
the HTML 3.2 spec, due to the presence of the Q element; when I read
HTML 3.2, CITE looked just like the text-level counterpart of BLOCKQUOTE.