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Re: updated cite definition - please review

From: Steve Faulkner <faulkner.steve@gmail.com>
Date: Tue, 27 Aug 2013 15:19:59 +0100
Message-ID: <CA+ri+V=LuEfUOuLc7eSgYn+_ATKBT8P3gnyWY6GLXa1EhZ8GGg@mail.gmail.com>
To: "Jukka K. Korpela" <jukka.k.korpela@kolumbus.fi>
Cc: HTMLWG WG <public-html@w3.org>
Hi Jukka,

comments inline



HTML 5.1 <http://www.w3.org/html/wg/drafts/html/master/>

On 23 August 2013 12:52, Jukka K. Korpela <jukka.k.korpela@kolumbus.fi>wrote:

> 2013-08-23 13:26, Steve Faulkner wrote:
>> I have made changes to the definition of the cite element in the HTML 5.1
>> editors draft
>> new: http://www.w3.org/html/wg/**drafts/html/master/text-level-**
>> semantics.html#the-cite-**element<http://www.w3.org/html/wg/drafts/html/master/text-level-semantics.html#the-cite-element>
>> old: http://www.w3.org/TR/html51/**text-level-semantics.html#the-**
>> cite-element<http://www.w3.org/TR/html51/text-level-semantics.html#the-cite-element>
>> Note: the changes have no effect on implementations in browsers or
>> conformance checkers.
> Changing things in a manner that has no effect on implementations seems
> rather futile. The only real effect would be added confusion among people
> who try to take semantic definitions seriously and continued debate over
> "semantics".

Not futile for authors who think that use of cite should be allowed for
marking up in-text attributions, which the (revised proposal allows) as
well as the title of works

> It would be best to declare <cite> as a deprecated synonym for <i>, but
> since this is probably unrealistic, the next best option, in attempt to
> minimize confusion and pointless debates, is to use the exactly same
> description as in previous HTML specifications, adapted to the sentence
> structure used:
> "The cite element represents a citation or a reference to other sources."
> (HTML 4.01: "Contains a citation or a reference to other sources."
> HTML 3.2: "used for citations or references to other sources".
> These differ from
> HTML 2.0: "The CITE element is used to indicate the title of a book or
> other citation. It is typically rendered as italics."
> in a rather pointless manner. The change caused nothing but confusion and
> debate. And a new change would do the same.)

> The old definition is vague. So is the proposed new one.

> We have to live with the cite element, but not love it. Minimal change (or
> actually, no change to HTML 4.01) is the best way.

I believe that the revised definition is in accordance with this.

> If some clarification is needed, I would add something like this (with
> bracketed texts containing details that may be omitted):
> The cite element has often been used for titles of books and other works
> even when no quotation is involved[, and this was in conformance to the
> original definition of the element]. On the other hand, it has also been
> used for quoted text [since in many languages, words resembling "cite" mean
> "quotation"]. For such reasons, user agents should make no general
> assumption about the meaning and role of cite elements. Authors should note
> that the expected default rendering of cite is italic text.

> --
> Yucca, http://www.cs.tut.fi/~**jkorpela/ <http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/>
Received on Tuesday, 27 August 2013 14:21:07 UTC

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