[whatwg] <cite> versus |cite|

Matthew Raymond mattraymond at earthlink.net
Mon Jan 15 18:21:27 PST 2007

Anne van Kesteren wrote:
> On Sun, 14 Jan 2007 21:12:37 +0100, Matthew Raymond  
> <mattraymond at earthlink.net> wrote:
>>    Well, first of all, it doesn't cover cases without hyperlinks:
>> | <p><q>Blah</q>, said Baz</p>
> I don't think that case is very interesting.

   Interesting is not the same as common. There is a use case for
citations of material that you don't have a hyperlink for.

>> As for |source| versus |cite|, I see two problems. First is that the
>> attributes are so similar that they could get easily confused. Second is
>> that "source" is essentially the long form of "src", which may cause
>> even more confusion:
> So name it something else. "linkedfrom" was at one point suggested on IRC.

   My big issue is not so much which name we pick so much as the fact
that |cite| and |attributeName| will have nearly the same purpose, and
thus will be easily confused. It seems like a better idea to just use
|cite| in all cases and just accept the single character "#" as the
price of backwards compatibility. Think about it: spacewise, you'd have
to have an attribute with four letters or less just to gain even a tiny
savings in file size.

   The only real argument against reusing |cite| (while keeping it a
URL) is for semantic purity. That's the point I thought I was going to
have to really fight against. Yet I haven't really heard anyone making
that argument. Instead, the complain about a pound sign to the point of
even suggesting new attributes just to avoid typing it. Bizarre!

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