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Re: use of <mark> to denote notes in quoted text

From: Jukka K. Korpela <jukka.k.korpela@kolumbus.fi>
Date: Mon, 09 Sep 2013 12:05:47 +0300
Message-ID: <522D8F6B.5030500@kolumbus.fi>
To: HTMLWG WG <public-html@w3.org>
2013-09-09 11:24, Steve Faulkner wrote:
> we are paving a cowpath with <cite> (and <blockquote>), the default 
> styling of cite by browsers should not be a deciding factor. The style 
> is and can be overridden

Cows have taken different paths, really. Moreover, since the only known 
actual effect of <cite> or <blockquote> is in rendering, the default 
styling is relevant. Why would you use markup that has no other effect 
than indenting or italic and then start wondering how to override that 
effect? I know that I am exaggerating a bit, since the markup may have 
marginal effects beyond visual rendering, but most of the effects 
presented in discussions over the years (including those by my previous 
HTML Purist self) are just imaginary.

> "When a practice is already widespread among authors, consider 
> adopting it rather than forbidding it or inventing something new."
> http://www.w3.org/TR/html-design-principles/#pave-the-cowpaths
Practices differ, and if specifications described <blockquote> and 
<cite> by referring to their impact on default rendering only, this 
would in no way prevent authors from using them for quotations or 
citations. And "something new" would not be defined, or needed.

There seems to be an implied idea that specifications must address all 
frequently asked questions like "which markup do I use for.... ?" But in 
fact, many questions of that kind are not addressed at all, or need to 
be addressed. When markup has no functional impact (browsers and search 
engines treat it blindly, possibly applying default styling, but nothing 
more), the choice of markup becomes a matter of coding style.

Coding style may be a personal decision by an author, or a decision in a 
community, as in an enterprise where different people are expected to 
apply the same coding style. Either way, HTML specifications need not 
address the issues. A company or an educational institute may well 
require that HTML documents use a particular coding style for 
quotations; it will most likely contain many requirements far beyond 
anything that could sensibly be included in an HTML specification.

Yucca, http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/
Received on Monday, 9 September 2013 09:06:12 UTC

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