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Re: Correct usage of the q element

From: Jukka K. Korpela <jkorpela@cs.tut.fi>
Date: Fri, 13 Feb 2004 00:47:18 +0200 (EET)
To: www-html@w3.org
Message-ID: <Pine.GSO.4.58.0402130034020.13555@korppi.cs.tut.fi>

On Thu, 12 Feb 2004, Ian Hickson wrote:

> > However, <quote> will probably be just harmless (unlike <q> has been) and
> > won't be used much. There's no tangible gain to be expected.
>
> As far as I am concerned, the primary use of <quote> (or <q>, or
> <blockquote>) is to be able to unambiguously specify a source for a quote,
> through the cite="" attribute.

I'm not sure I see what robots could do with those attributes. They hardly
even try now, despite the fact that cite for <blockquote> and <q> has been
in official HTML for years. As few know, few authors use the attribute and,
besides, most use of <blockquote> is abuse (for indenting only).

I don't expect this to change much. Few authors will use <quote> or <q>
unless they see some tangible benefits. Maybe this is why <q> was defined
to add quotation marks, but that was a big mistake.

Regarding browsing, I don't think the cite attribute is of much use
even in the future. Surely browsers can offer the user access to the
resource cited, but they can do the same _now_ and in a manner that the
user _notices_, if the author simply adds a citation into the content
proper, as a link if applicable. Then the cite attribute becomes pointless
duplication.

For logical purposes, a <cite> _element_ would be useful. There is not
reason to limit citations to URLs - that would be a very technocentric
approach. Well, <cite> is already in use, but does that matter? The
problem with it is that it is rendered in italics by default and very
often misunderstood as meaning quotation.

So we might define <source for="xx">...</source> as indicating the
source of the information in the element with id="xx". If that element is
a quotation element of some kind, a browser could render the <source>
element in some conventional style used for citations.

Of course, it would take about ten years to get some software actually
making use of such markup.

-- 
Jukka "Yucca" Korpela, http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/
Received on Thursday, 12 February 2004 17:47:20 UTC

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