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Re: Provenance of the blockquote element

From: Dan Connolly <dckc@madmode.com>
Date: Mon, 18 Sep 2017 12:24:42 -0500
Message-ID: <CAD2YivazhRNRFy8JvCXjZqGyDXbewys9mv+WGR5U6iL+eX0j3A@mail.gmail.com>
To: "Ammann, Rudolf" <r.ammann@ucl.ac.uk>
Cc: "public-webhistory@w3.org" <public-webhistory@w3.org>, "Sean B. Palmer" <sbp@miscoranda.com>
On Mon, Sep 18, 2017 at 11:25 AM, Ammann, Rudolf <r.ammann@ucl.ac.uk> wrote:

> On 11 September 2017 at 19:29  Dan Connolly wrote:
> > if I recall correctly, the WG member asked if that would
> > be a good way to do HTML email, and I replied yes, that's what
> > blockquote was there for.
> Dan -- Your identification of the interleaving quotation style of
> usenet/e-mail correspondence as the inspiration for adding DocBook's
> blockquote element to HTML in January 1993 may not be wholly persuasive on
> several counts. HTML's intended use of the period, the 'Web of Documents'
> serving scientists and their support staff, is unlikely to have featured a
> text genre that called for the dialogic back-and-forth expressed in the
> interleaving quotation style of usenet and e-mail.

Well, I worked at a supercomputer company serving scientists and their
support staff, and I did a lot of such back-and-forth.

Could you give us the exact point in time at which the question of
> blockquotes for HTML e-mail arose? I'd expect that it arose at a time
> significantly later than 1992 and may therefore not be a good basis from
> which to infer what motivated the inclusion of the blockquote element in
> January 1993.

Yes, it's significantly later than 1992. Back on Aug 28 I put some effort
into finding that date without luck. There are some ways to put bounds on
it... it was certainly before HTML 4.0 became a W3C Recommendation and
after HTML 3.2 drafts came out.

I suppose you'll just have to to draw your own conclusions based on your
findings. Who knows how reliable my memory is.

Dan Connolly
Received on Monday, 18 September 2017 17:25:07 UTC

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