[whatwg] Bibliography Markup in HTML5

On Sun, Sep 27, 2009 at 8:28 PM, tjeddo <tjeddo at gmail.com> wrote:
> I am surprised at how little concern there seems to be over the lack of
> bibliography markup in HTML5.

Most of this discussion has revolved around the <cite> element as well
as methods to mark-up attribution in such elements as <figure>.
There's also been some discussion about Bibtex as microdata, though I
think that's been dropped.

> I mean, there is new language support
> for an 'aside' section element but no 'bibliography' section element!?

A full-on bibliography (if it's not a separate page) would function
well as a <section> or <footer>, unless I misunderstand the way those
elements are supposed to work.

> <bibliography> ...
> <dt id="refsRFC5322">[RFC5322]</dt>
> <dd><cite><a href="http://www.ietf.org/rfc/rfc5322.txt">Internet Message
> Format</a></cite>, P. Resnick. IETF, October 2008.</dd>
> ...
> </bibliography>
> The value here is the elimination of ambiguity and that a number of new
> inferences can now be drawn by user agents. ?With the <dl> tags, the
> interpreting agent can only determine that there is a definition list
> containing term/definition entries. ?Whereas, in the context of a
> new bibliography section element, user agents can unambiguously interpret
> the 'dt' element to be the displayed content that humans identify a
> bibliography entry by (e.g., "[RFC5322]" in the example given).
> Additionally, in this context the 'dd' element would be defined to contain
> "a representation of a bibliography entry." Of course, more concise
> definitions for these elements occurring in the bibliography context should
> be worked out.

1. There'd need to be some clear-cut understanding about what would go
in the <dt> and <dd> elements. Would the <dt> before the "citation
entry" and the <dd> optional for "annotation" or something? Would
multiple <dd>s be allowed per <dt>? Would authors understand the
difference? In your example, it feels like <dt> is for "shorthand
bibliographic entry" and <dd> is for "longer bibliographic entry,"
which feels a bit cumbersome and offers pretty good odds for repeated

2. I'm not sure the <dt><dd> pattern allows for any useful mnemonic
device related to a dedicated <bibliography> element.

My own practice has been to mark-up a bibliography as either a <ul> or
<ol> within a div, with each <li> being used to mark discrete items in
the list of works cited.

Would a more generalized block/inline element to identify
"attribution" (such as <credit> or my own attempt to expand the
function of <cite>) suit your needs?

Erik Vorhes

Received on Monday, 28 September 2009 08:07:51 UTC