[whatwg] several messages about <cite>

Ian Hickson ian at hixie.ch
Mon Apr 14 15:51:38 PDT 2008

I seemed to have missed these when going through the <cite> e-mails 

On Sat, 16 Apr 2005, John Lewis wrote:
> A way to mark up titles is something I've always wanted in HTML. 
> Currently, <cite> is only appropriate for actual citations. I rarely 
> cite books, movies, etc.; I'm usually just talking about them. <i> is 
> worse. It's basically meaningless. The best I can do is <i 
> class="movie"> or something, and even then it's only appropriate for 
> titles that are italicized. Song names (and other minor works) are 
> generally written in quotation marks, not italicized. <i class="song"> 
> is awful.

<cite> has been extended to cover these cases now.

On Sun, 17 Apr 2005, Matthew Thomas wrote:
> I think distinguishing between ordinary titles and real citations is 
> untenable, because there's not a workable dividing line. Consider these 
> examples:
> 1.  <p>My favorite book is <cite>The reality
>     dysfunction</cite> by Peter F. Hamilton. It begins: <q>Space
>     outside the attack cruiser <something>Beezling</something> tore open
>     in five places.</q></p>
> 3.  <p>My favorite book is <somethingelse>The reality
>     dysfunction</somethingelse> by Peter F. Hamilton.</p>
> Why should the title markup have suddenly changed? Do you expect the 
> editor of an online magazine's book reviews department, for example, to 
> have the presence of mind to change the title markup in the first 
> paragraph of a review if she happens to excise the last quote from 
> somewhere else in the review?

I agree. The spec is aligned with this thinking as well now.

On Sun, 17 Apr 2005, Anne van Kesteren wrote:
> I think that would be acceptable. Although I wonder if CITE would still 
> be the right name... Can you still use CITE for persons in that case?
>  <p><cite>John E. Simpson</cite> said in <cite>XPath and
>  XPointer</cite>: <q>...</q></p>

Per the current spec, you explicitly can't.

On Sun, 17 Apr 2005, fantasai wrote:
> Anne van Kesteren wrote:
> > Ian Hickson wrote:
> > 
> > > > Then would you want different markup for book titles, movie 
> > > > titles, play titles, song titles, etc?  Or would you just expect 
> > > > the script to search IMDB for anything marked up with <cite>?
> > > 
> > > Again, I don't really know. I could see a use case for a "type" 
> > > attribute (as was suggested earlier in this thread), but that seems 
> > > like a slippery slope. Suggestions?
> > 
> > If we go with something like a TYPE attribute, I hope we can give it a 
> > better name. However, hiding semantics inside the value of an 
> > attribute is a poor markup design in humble opinion. (Although it also 
> > has some advantages.)
> It's subclassing: the general is sufficient, the specific better. Many 
> markup languages use the design, and in this case, I think it's 
> necessary.

The class="" attribute can handle this case.

On Sat, 7 May 2005, Henri Sivonen wrote:
> I'd define <cite> meaning a title of work (not a person and not limited 
> to quoted works).

The spec matches this now.

Ian Hickson               U+1047E                )\._.,--....,'``.    fL
http://ln.hixie.ch/       U+263A                /,   _.. \   _\  ;`._ ,.
Things that are impossible just take longer.   `._.-(,_..'--(,_..'`-.;.'

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