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Re: updated cite definition - please review

From: Steve Faulkner <faulkner.steve@gmail.com>
Date: Wed, 28 Aug 2013 09:53:01 +0100
Message-ID: <CA+ri+V=UYb0jgf06yzcFEqA0oM8nfq8hGbZXRFPthxYYLzg6mQ@mail.gmail.com>
To: "Jukka K. Korpela" <jukka.k.korpela@kolumbus.fi>
Cc: Bruce Lawson <brucel@opera.com>, HTMLWG WG <public-html@w3.org>
Hi Jukka,

>Millions of websites probably use <cite> to denote quotations, too.

from data i looked at this is not the case, what is the case is its common
usage is to mark up author (usually a person) attributions.

If you want to talk about existing usage please provide data.



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

On 28 August 2013 09:32, Jukka K. Korpela <jukka.k.korpela@kolumbus.fi>wrote:

> 2013-08-28 11:12, Bruce Lawson wrote:
>> On 25 August 2013 19:19, Jukka K. Korpela <jukka.k.korpela@kolumbus.fi>
>> wrote:
>>> If there were an element called <z> in HTML, with italic as default
>>> rendering in browsers, and some authors used it to denote names of trees,
>>> and some other to denote impressive things, and yet some other to mark up
>>> green things, and all the rest using for various purposes, it would be
>>> pointless to discuss what the "right" usage is or to collect statistics
>>> of
>>> existing usage, or to study definitions of <z> in past specifications.
>>> The
>>> only sensible thing that browsers, search engines, and other software
>>> could
>>> do, and would do, is to treat <z> as an element with unknown meaning and
>>> no
>>> effect, except for the default rendering (if it is an established
>>> practice).
>> But there isn't a <z> element, so this is a red herring.
> The <cite> element is very similar to <z> in uselessness. Well, <cite>
> causes italic font by default, but you can achieve just the same with the
> more concise <i>.
>    There *is* a
>> <cite> element, which used to be allowed for marking up titles of
>> works and authors of cited works,
> That was two different old specs. One of them allowed it for titles, the
> other allowed it for citations including author names. Either of these
> could in principle have been a useful definition, since it would at least
> allow some conceivable processing for the element in search engines,
> structured data extraction, etc. (even though nothing like that ever
> happened). The amalgamated “semantics” makes <cite> even theoretically as
> useless as the hypothetical <z>.
>  There are people who wish to denote authors, and millions of
>> websites that already use <cite> to denote author name.
> People want to denote many things. Millions of websites probably use
> <cite> to denote quotations, too. (Saying that it must/should not be used
> for quotations effectively says that it is.) Should that be thrown in, too,
> into the “semantics”?
>  The fact that software can't tell the difference between a cited work
>> and a cited author is not a reason to keep the spec from specifying
>> common existing practice.
> All that matters in the common existing practice is that <cite> is by
> default rendering in italic (when possible). Everything else is just idle
> and confusing “semantics” in the worst meaning of the word – unless someone
> can come up with an example (even a very theoretical thought experiment)
> what could possibly be done with <cite> on the basis of the proposed
> semantic definition. As far as I can see, any assumption about the meaning,
> or even structural relationship to the surrounding content (beyond pure
> syntactic nesting) would conflict with much of existing usage.
> “Cite” is a legacy element that has been used to mark up titles of works,
> names of authors, quotations, and other things. It cannot be defined
> semantically in any useful way that would not conflict with much of the
> existing usage. Ergo, it should be just documented as one of the elements
> that cause italic rendering by default. It should be regarded as obsolete,
> but conforming – there is no reason to punish authors for using it.
> --
> Yucca, http://www.cs.tut.fi/~**jkorpela/ <http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/>
Received on Wednesday, 28 August 2013 08:54:09 UTC

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