Re: a quote is a quote is a quote [was Re: Cleaning House]

On 5/3/07 3:44 PM, "Jason A. Lefkowitz" <> wrote:

> I did read your original proposal; I even tried to participate in the
> ensuing discussion [1], but nobody responded to my message.  Thanks for
> recapping your points, though; let me try to take them individually:
>> a quote is a quote is a quote: one element should be sufficient to
>> quote indicate a block of content that's not original to the document
>> it's embedded in unquote -- that's the very definition of a quote;
> If we were starting from a blank slate, I'd be inclined to agree, but we
> already have two elements (BLOCKQUOTE and Q), and the WHATWG's
> WebApps1.0 spec adds at least one more (DIALOG -- there may be others,
> I'm still going through the spec).
>> BLOCKQUOTE is presentational in nature;
> I disagree. As I noted above, it clearly has meaning beyond the
> presentation that's attached to it in the default stylesheet. At a
> minimum, it's no less semantically meaningful than Q, a hypothetical
> QUOTE, or any other element that separates out quoted content.
>> BLOCKQUOTE is a hold-over from print conventions WITHOUT semantic
>> meaning (unless you call an arbitrary number of sentences seperated
>> from the main text by blank lines and indented margins semantically
>> meaningful);
> This seems like a restatement of your point #2.
>> why not a single Q or QUOTE element that flows (can serve as an
>> inline or block element such as INS and DEL (at least in HTML4x);
> Because (1) we already have two elements, (2) a non-trivial number of
> existing documents use the two elements, (3) having two elements doesn't
> break anything in particular, and (4) the usage of the two elements
> don't overlap -- one is for inline content and the other for block
> content. You're right that INS and DEL are examples of elements which
> can be inline *or* block-level depending on the context, but the HTML
> 4.01 spec clearly calls this out as a wart, not a feature: it says
> "These two elements are unusual for HTML in that they may serve as
> either block-level or inline elements (but not both)." [2] We should be
> cutting down the number of elements that behave in ways "unusual for
> HTML", not creating new ones, IMHO.
> -- Jason Lefkowitz
> [1]
> [2]
> Gregory J. Rosmaita wrote:
>> please take the time to read my original proposal, archived at:
>> as well as the threaded discussion that it sparked.

So what's wrong with just putting blockquote on the list of deprecated tags?
Whether it's in the spec or not, the browsers will continue to render it
since there's lots of old pages that still use it (both correctly and

I'd vote to:
* leave it in the spec
* throw errors if someone validates an html5 document having blockquotes
* document any quirky behaviour the current browsers implement regarding
blockquote for the benefit of future browser competition
* move on to the next topic.

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Received on Thursday, 3 May 2007 20:10:59 UTC