W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-html@w3.org > September 2009

Re: Change back the semantics of <cite>

From: Toby Inkster <tai@g5n.co.uk>
Date: Sun, 13 Sep 2009 19:02:41 +0100
Message-Id: <96829EB6-CA61-4E67-B4E9-561FC3D6C92D@g5n.co.uk>
Cc: HTMLWG <public-html@w3.org>
To: Smylers <Smylers@stripey.com>
On 11 Sep 2009, at 16:45, Smylers wrote:

> But what does it actually achieve?  In what way does a user benefit  
> from
> a document having all the people mentioned marked up as such?

It's not a question of having all the people *mentioned* marked up,  
but all the people *cited* marked up. A citation is more than a mere  
mention - it's an indication that the person or thing cited provides  
supporting evidence for the words on the page.

How does a user of the page benefit? I can imagine a bit of  
Javascript that, say, highlights nearby <cite> elements when the  
mouse is hovered over a <blockquote> or <q> element. Perhaps the  
<cite> element immediately before and immediately after, plus any  
<cite> elements actually within the <blockquote>, as there's  
currently no way of knowing exactly which is the relevant one, though  
RDFa maybe could help:

<p xmlns:foaf="http://xmlns.com/foaf/0.1/">
     [... blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah ...] After all, as
     <cite about="#ws" property="foaf:name">Shakespeare</cite> said,
     <q cite="#ws">a rose by any other name would smell as sweet</q>.

If HTML 2 and HTML 4 differ on the definition of <cite>, it seems  
more sensible to go with either the wider definition (as that will  
encompass the narrower one) or the more recent definition, as these  
will be compatible with more existing content. The HTML 4 definition  
is both the wider definition and the more recent one, so seems the  
way to go.

Toby A Inkster
Received on Sunday, 13 September 2009 18:03:14 UTC

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