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[whatwg] Using footer in blockquote for attribution

From: Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>
Date: Sat, 11 Feb 2012 00:19:08 +0000 (UTC)
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.64.1202102356490.11170@ps20323.dreamhostps.com>
On Fri, 1 Jul 2011, Oli Studholme wrote:
> 
> Over at http://html5doctor.com we?ve been using this pattern when 
> quoting e.g. from the HTML5 spec:
> 
> <blockquote>
>   <p>[block quote]</p>
>   <footer>? <cite><a href="?">[title of work]</a></cite></footer>
> </blockquote>
> 
> I wrote about our use of blockquote and footer in
> http://html5doctor.com/blockquote-q-cite/ recently, which lead to
> http://www.w3.org/Bugs/Public/show_bug.cgi?id=13082. To recap:
> 
> Footer definition:
>   ?The footer element represents a footer for its nearest ancestor
> sectioning content or sectioning root element. A footer typically
> contains information about its section such as who wrote it, links to
> related documents, copyright data, and the like.?
> 
> Blockquote definition:
>   ?The blockquote element represents a section that is quoted from
> another source. Content inside a blockquote must be quoted from
> another source, whose address, if it has one, may be cited in the cite
> attribute.?
> 
> Simon felt that ?Content inside a blockquote must be quoted from
> another source? excludes footer.

On what basis?


> However the footer definition reads to me that footer is basically 
> metadata *about* content (the non-footer or -header content of the 
> sectioning or sectioning root element).
> 
> I?m happy to propose some reasons for allowing this, but to start with 
> does blockquote?s definition beat footer?s definition? Or, is footer 
> considered content as far as the blockquote definition is concerned?

Content in a <blockquote> is quoted. This includes any <footer>s in it. 
For example, a page might say:

   <article>
    <h1>My Opinion</h1>
    <p>Bla bla bla.</p>
    <p>Bla bla bla.</p>
    <p>And furthermore, I think fish are friends, not food.</p>
    <footer>
     <p>Fred is a shark.</p>
    </footer>
   </article>

Another page might then quote that page:

   <p>But the best part is the end, where Fred writes:</p>
   <blockquote cite="http://fred.example.net/blog/my-opinion">
    <p>And furthermore, I think fish are friends, not food.</p>
    <footer>
     <p>Fred is a shark.</p>
    </footer>
   </blockquote>
   <p>Notice the footer saying that he's a shark! Sharks <em>like</em> to 
   eat fish, surely.</p>

It's not clear to me why or how the spec is ambiguous here.

I've not added this specific example to the spec, but I've added 
unambiguous requirements regarding attribution.


On Fri, 1 Jul 2011, Simon Pieters wrote:
> 
> Indeed since it's a conformance requirement, in valid documents the 
> content inside blockquote is quoted from another source. If the spec 
> were to allow attribution inside blockquote, the above conformance 
> requirement would need to be changed to allow it.

Indeed.


On Tue, 5 Jul 2011, Jukka K. Korpela wrote:
> 
> I was pretty sure that I had seen an example where a blockquote element 
> contained an attribution in a footer. Alas, the ???living standard??? 
> does not seem to have a version history where I could conveniently check 
> this out.

You can see all versions of the spec ever published using the Subversion 
repository. See the spec header for tools for accessing it.


> Admittedly, there is some logic in requiring that the content of 
> blockquote be quoted from an external source and nothing more. I wonder 
> whether this disallows common constructs like ???[foo]??? to indicate 
> that ???foo??? has been added for clarification and is not present in 
> the source.

I've addressed this.


> Anyway, having a blockquote element but no markup for attribution is 
> very illogical.

Indeed. We may fix this in due course.

-- 
Ian Hickson               U+1047E                )\._.,--....,'``.    fL
http://ln.hixie.ch/       U+263A                /,   _.. \   _\  ;`._ ,.
Things that are impossible just take longer.   `._.-(,_..'--(,_..'`-.;.'
Received on Friday, 10 February 2012 16:19:08 UTC

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