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Re: Change back the semantics of <cite>

From: Leif Halvard Silli <xn--mlform-iua@xn--mlform-iua.no>
Date: Wed, 16 Sep 2009 05:07:42 +0200
Message-ID: <4AB0567E.6000408@xn--mlform-iua.no>
To: Dan Connolly <connolly@w3.org>
CC: Bruce Lawson <brucel@opera.com>, Anne van Kesteren <annevk@opera.com>, HTMLWG <public-html@w3.org>
Dan Connolly On 09-09-11 17.18:

> On Fri, 2009-09-11 at 15:57 +0100, Bruce Lawson wrote:
>> On Fri, 11 Sep 2009 15:54:01 +0100, Anne van Kesteren:
>>> On Fri, 11 Sep 2009 16:39:48 +0200, Bruce Lawson:
>>>> On Fri, 11 Sep 2009 14:48:53 +0100, Dan Connolly:
>>>>> I consider that a bug in the HTML 4 spec. I wish I had
>>>>> reviewed it more closely.
>>>> Nevertheless, it was in the spec and therefore many people (I include  
>>>> myself and therefore declare an interest) used <cite> for names of  
>>>> people.
> Fair point; I suppose the HTML 5 spec should in some way acknowledge
> that this usage was licensed by the HTML 4 spec for 10+ years.
> I don't think it should be encouraged, though.

Why not? What's the disadvantage?

> I suggest changing
>   "must therefore not be used to mark up people's names"
> to
>   "should therefore not be used to mark up people's names"
> with some sort of historical footnote about the HTML 4
> <cite>name</cite> example.

As just noted by Toby and me, HTML 4 reserve <cite> for /works or 
human/ that are /sources/. HTML 5 currently removes that 
restriction. Was the restriction to sources a bug as well then, in 
your opinion?

Btw, it isn't infrequent to let a book be represented in a text 
only by the name of its author.

> Meanwhile, I did just a little bit of research, looking
> at tutorial materials to see whether they picked up
> the HTML 4 <cite>name</cite> usage. I find that
> they seem to stick the <cite>title of work</cite> usage:


> though that first one says "The CITE element is used to markup
> citations, such as titles of magazines or newspapers, ship names, ..."
> ship names?!?!

According to HTML 5 as it stands, you could use <cite> for the 
name of a sculpture representing a ship. But not for the name of a 
real ship. Thus <cite> because an element for the name of "the 
arts" ... the fine things. Marxists will not use this element 
anymore ...

By the wide definition you give to <cite> (in your previous reply 
you mentioned use of italics), I am surprised that you react to 
use of <cite> for ship names ...

Here in Norway, we have some viking ships from the middle ages. 
Those ships have been studied in detail of course. And I can 
imagine e.g. the Oseberg ship [1] could be referred to as an 
authority - as a proof of some stated fact about vikings, for 
instance. When we see <cite> as an element for anything that in 
the context is source/authority, then there would be nothing that 
prevented the use of <cite>the Oseberg ship</cite>.

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oseberg_ship
leif halvard silli
Received on Wednesday, 16 September 2009 03:08:23 UTC

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