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[whatwg] The blockquote element spec vs common quoting practices

From: Jukka K. Korpela <jkorpela@cs.tut.fi>
Date: Sun, 12 Feb 2012 22:20:16 +0200
Message-ID: <4F381F00.80709@cs.tut.fi>
2012-02-12 21:43, Nils Dagsson Moskopp wrote:

>> The difference between <blockquote>  and (for example) <quotation>  as
>> quotation markup is that the latter has no burden of existing use for
>> other purposes.
>
> By analogy, a completely new table element would also be necessary.

There has been quite a lot of discussion on distinguishing between 
layout tables and data tables. The heuristics look reasonable to me, so 
I don?t see why a new element or even a new attribute would be needed.

There is existing software that treats <table> as tabular data, such as 
assistive software that lets the user access a cell by column and row 
information. So the situation is different from <blockquote>.

> Oh,
> and what about a way to denote images that is not tarnished by spacer
> GIFs and web bugs?

You can use <object> for that if you like. But <img> is still an image, 
whether used as a spacer or otherwise.

>> Anyone who plans to do some intelligent processing of
>> quotations could expect <quotation>  to be quotation markup and
>> nothing else, since there is no motivation for using it for other
>> purposes
>
> Authors lie and we will have to live with it.

It?s not a lie if you use <blockquote> for indentation because others 
told you that it indents text (it was often described that way in 
tutorials, too). It might be wrong by some definition, but that does not 
make it a lie.

> You cannot make content
> producers honest by just introducing a new element intended to be used
> similar to the old element.

Not by just doing that, but it would be part of the process.

> Why do you think that *this* time, everyone
> will read the manual before producing markup?

The don?t need to. The important thing is that it would be used against 
the defined meaning, because there is no reason to do that. People use 
<blockquote> because they heard or observed that it indents, and it did 
that even when there was no better way to indent.

Yucca
Received on Sunday, 12 February 2012 12:20:16 UTC

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