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Re: cite, title, citation, author

From: John Anthony Lewis <lewi0371@mrs.umn.edu>
Date: Wed, 25 Sep 2002 21:35:20 -0500
Message-ID: <193104459742.20020925213520@cda.mrs.umn.edu>
To: www-html@w3.org

Hello Bertilo,
Wednesday, September 25, 2002, 4:58:48 PM, you wrote:

> The use of "cite" to delineate the speker is however not in
> accordance with common practice. Normally "cite" is used _only for
> the title_ of a source.

That's true. However, I don't think specs are written according to
common practice. But that's beside the point. The use of the cite
element to reference the author of a quotation is in line with the
definition of citation. Do most people use it in a more narrow sense?
Certainly, but that doesn't invalidate its other uses.

> I propose that "cite" in XHTML 2 be defined clearer and stricter, and
> according to the common practice of using it only for actual titles of
> sources (and for various abbrieviations of a title etc.), not for the
> name of an author, and not for quotations from such a source.

If your only reason is common practice, then I have to disagree.
'cite' is more useful the way it is. The added text limiting its use
would make the spec longer, it may confuse people who expect cite to
be used for any citation, and the so-called clearer meaning has no
benefits. Also, we'd need to add another element to regain the
functionality we'd lose by restricting cite.

> The XHTML 2 draft also includes a "cite" attribute of the "cite"
> element. That will probably be confusing for many users. I propose
> that one of them receive a different and unique name.

> Since there has been some confusion about the true use of the
> element "cite", perhaps that is the one that could fare better with
> a new and different name.

I think the spec could more clearly define the cite element, but I
don't see many benefits of dropping the name for something else. It's
probably the best, most common name for what it does. (Unless its use
is limited, as you want it to be.)

Received on Wednesday, 25 September 2002 22:35:39 UTC

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