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RE: HTML5 Citations, References, Equation References and Footnotes

From: Adam Sobieski <adamsobieski@hotmail.com>
Date: Sun, 22 Jan 2012 14:06:13 +0000
Message-ID: <SNT138-W3221D6B6CFB0FC9520DCD3C5850@phx.gbl>
To: <public-html@w3.org>
CC: <bhawkeslewis@googlemail.com>

HTML5 Working Group,
Benjamin Hawkes-Lewis,
 Hello.  Some use cases include scholarly and scientific communication, encyclopedias, digital textbooks, websites such as arXiv and CiteSeer, information search and retrieval, content discovery, and citation graphs.
Thank you for the link to the history of the <cite/> element.  Other possible element names for the described semantics include <r/> or <ref/>.  We can observe that Wikipedia includes a <ref/> element in its wiki syntax for footnotes (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Footnotes).  In hypertext, the element <q/> could be for quotations from referenced materials and <r/> (or <ref/>) could be for referring to referenced materials or document elements where the content is the author's.
 A <reference/> element can use either attributes or nested elements to describe resources and materials as per a metadata model and can render as described.  It is envisioned that <reference/> elements would go in sections of structured documents that have been titled "Works Cited", "References", "Cited References" or "Bibliography".  A <reference/> element would require a metadata model which would ideally be comprehensive, a superset of existing models.  See also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Citing_sources, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Citation, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reference.
A <footnote/> (or <note/>) element is envisioned as for content items that stack on the bottoms of documents, sections, pages or columns with text flowing around them.  Wherever footnotes and endnotes are in documents, the <footnote/> (or <note/>) elements could render.  See also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Note_(typography). With a document element as per <math id="eq123" role="Lemma">...</math> referred to using <r cite="#eq123"/>, that referring element could render as, for example, Lemma 1.2.3 .  Such a system is imagined as dynamic, interoperable with JavaScript and the DOM.  With structured hypertext documents, CSS3, auto-numbering, document element roles, and some topics described herein, hypertext can be automatically and dynamically runtime generated in documents in ways previously possible with macros and compiling.   Kind regards, Adam Sobieski
> Date: Sun, 22 Jan 2012 01:31:58 +0000
> Subject: Re: HTML5 Citations, References, Equation References and Footnotes
> From: bhawkeslewis@googlemail.com
> To: adamsobieski@hotmail.com
> CC: public-html@w3.org
> On 2012/1/21 Adam Sobieski <adamsobieski@hotmail.com> wrote:
> > I have some ideas for HTML5 with regard to citing, referencing,
> > equation references, and footnotes.
> Please note:
>      http://wiki.whatwg.org/wiki/FAQ#Is_there_a_process_for_adding_new_features_to_a_specification.3F
> Your email mostly skips defining the use cases to support and the
> problem to be solved and jumps straight into recommending changing
> semantics of an existing element and adding new features.
> > With a <reference id=”ref1″ … /> element in a document,
> > other elements such as <q cite=”#ref1″>text</q> and <cite
> > cite=”#ref1”>text</cite> could render as “text” (Smith 2012)
> > and text (Smith 2012). A reimagined semantics of the <cite/> element
> > is that the contained hypertext content is the author’s while
> > specifically indicating one or more references and/or footnotes.
> HTML5 defines the <cite> element to represent a title of work:
>     http://dev.w3.org/html5/spec/the-cite-element.html#the-cite-element
> In the past, it has sometimes being understood to represent the source
> of some information and used to mark up, for example, a person or even
> a date reference, although it appears this may not have been the
> intent of the spec writers. Some people have proposed this should be
> conforming usage. See discussion:
>    http://wiki.whatwg.org/wiki/Cite_element
> I've seen <cite> used to represent a quotation, based on a
> misunderstanding of earlier specifications or learning resources.
> Nobody is proposing that this should be conforming usage.
> In theory, <cite> could be misused to create italic text, but <i> and
> <em> are more likely. Again, nobody is proposing that this should be
> conforming usage.
>  <cite> has never been defined or widely used to represent, as in your
> examples, some rephrased content that has an external source.
> Interpreting <cite> that way would be incompatible with interpreting
> existing documents in the web corpus that use <cite>. So on web
> compatibility grounds, I would object to making this change to
> long-standing HTML semantics:
>     http://www.w3.org/TR/html-design-principles/#support-existing-content
> --
> Benjamin Hawkes-Lewis

Received on Sunday, 22 January 2012 14:06:48 UTC

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