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Re: updated cite definition - please review

From: Michael Zajac <mzajac@gmail.com>
Date: Sun, 25 Aug 2013 13:34:49 -0500
Message-Id: <DDF8DD01-62E6-4704-8770-12CAFDB8D912@gmail.com>
To: HTMLWG WG <public-html@w3.org>
On 2013-08-23, at 19:03, Leif Halvard Silli <xn--mlform-iua@xn--mlform-iua.no> wrote:

> I disagree. I think whether <cite> can be applied to names depends on 
> the purpose of using that name. 

Leif Halvard gives convincing examples where a more permissive, but still constrained, definition of cite should be allowed. However, these are mainly somewhat formal, structured citations, and not just mentions of authors, like parenthetical referencing (a.k.a. Harvard-style referencing).


Is cite an appropriate element for footnote markers in running text, as well as fuller references in the footnotes themselves? Perhaps not if the marker is just a raised number or an asterisk, but perhaps so if it is perceivable as a reference, like (Asimov 1950).

>  ]] These examples illustrate some of the phrase elements:
>    As <CITE>Harry S. Truman</CITE> said,
>    <Q lang="en-us">The buck stops here.</Q>

My inclination would be not to consider “Truman” a formal reference, but simply a mention of a name. It would not normally be called out by any kind of typographic style in print or on the web. Italicizing it doesn’t make sense. 

If I need CSS to completely neuter an element’s default styling, then perhaps it is not an appropriate place for the element. If the default styling is wrong, then authors will just remove the tag or not use it.

On 2013-08-25, at 11:59, Steve Faulkner <faulkner.steve@gmail.com> wrote:

>> So anybody using <cite> for something other
>> than the title of a work risks it being conveyed as a title of a work to
>> users anyway.
> italics denotes many things not just the title of works, so where is the risk?. when looking at how cite is actually used, its usage as previously constrained in html5 is not commonplace.

The risk, or rather certainty, is that things which would never be italicized or styled at all will appear in italics or whatever. For example, an author’s name, or an entire bibliographic entry that includes author, year, article title, journal title, volume, issue number, publisher, page number, and annotations.

There is no consistent formatting normally applied to these things.

There is a logic in having the default formatting represent the main use case – italicizing the title of a major work. It doesn’t bother me much that an exception is required for other use cases, like overriding the formatting for the title of an article or section.

But it defies logic to recommend using cite for text which is never formatted with italics or with a particular exceptional style, like a mentioned author’s name or a full bibliographic entry which may already be represented as ul.bibliography li.

>> > By removing the ability to cite authors, lots of people have spent a
>> > good deal of time attempting to find other ways of marking that up,
>> Why do they need to mark up authors?
> why do they need to mark up titles? 

To italicize them, in most cases. 

Michael Z.

Michael Zajac
Received on Sunday, 25 August 2013 18:35:13 UTC

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