[whatwg] Citing multiple <blockquote> elements in HTML5

Ian Hickson ian at hixie.ch
Sun Nov 30 13:41:48 PST 2008

On Sun, 30 Nov 2008, Calogero Alex Baldacchino wrote:
> I'm not sure I'm understanding the whole function of the <cite> element, 
> and perhaps I'm bothering again with ids and references, but the 
> relationship between a <cite> and a quotation could be disambiguated by 
> coupling an id and a reference to that id.

Why is the ambiguity a problem?

> Q: What problem does it solve?
> Uhm... perhaps a first cite could be a complete reference, i.e. a book name
> along its author, publisher and IBAN code, or a reference to another
> site/blog, its author and a link to the page with the quoted text. Ok, and
> now? Let's say any other reference to the same sorce could be shorter and
> without the need of any markup, but for styling, while the quotation block
> could remind the whole sorce to the reader, for instance, when the user moved
> his pointer over it, or focuses the <blockquote>, a tooltip could present the
> citation content - as if it where the content of the title attribute - and a
> screen reader could speak it aloud after the quotation, and if the referred
> <cite> contained a link, a click on the <blocquote> content (or any other kind
> of activation) could open the linked page in another tab/window.

That describes how it could be used, but _why_? Is there an actual problem 
that isn't solved today that needs solving?

On Sun, 30 Nov 2008, Henri Sivonen wrote:
> The <cite> element solves the problem that if one considers <i> evil (I 
> don't) and one wants to conform to the Chicago Manual of Style and one 
> believes that <em> is semantically wrong for titles of work, without 
> <cite> there wouldn't be an appropriate element for italicizing titles 
> of work per CMoS in a way that doesn't depend on CSS being available.

It also provides a way to style citations in a way different from other 
kinds of normally-italic text without using classes.

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

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