[whatwg] request for clarification: aside, figure

Bruce Lawson brucel at opera.com
Tue Jun 9 00:47:38 PDT 2009

On Tue, 09 Jun 2009 01:57:15 +0100, Ian Hickson <ian at hixie.ch> wrote:

> On Sun, 10 May 2009, Bruce Lawson wrote:
>> I don't think the spec is clear enough defining these two elements from
>> an author's perspective.


>> What is the difference between a <figure> that has no caption and an
>> <aside>? Both seem to be connected in some way with the main content
>> around it, but can be considered separate/ may be moved.


>> So If I have a magazine-style pullquote, is that a figure or an aside
>> (or neither)?
> I have attempted to address this, but actually it turns out HTML5 already
> has examples of how to do pull quotes in the <aside> section.

I didn't express myself clearly enough. This isn't a problem per se - it's  
the symptom of a problem. I note that there is an example of how to do  
pullquotes, but I can't deduce the logic that makes it obvious why one  
should use an <aside> rather than <figure>; the definition of each seems  
to allow either to be used thus.

>> For example, in the middle of a fictional interview about markup, I
>> might want to pull out a quote and citation: Do I write
>> <aside>
>> <blockquote>After a sip of sweet sherry, I turn into Mr Last
>> Week</blockquote>
>> <cite>Ian Hickson</cite>
>> </aside>
>> Or
>> <figure>
>> <blockquote>After a sip of sweet sherry, I turn into Mr Last
>> Week</blockquote>
>> <legend>Ian Hickson</legend>
>> </figure>
> The former shows correct usage of <aside> vs <figure>, though the <cite>
> element usage is incorrect; the name should not be marked up.

Again, I see no spec-derived reason why it should be <aside> rather than  
<figure>, other than it happens to be given an example of one rather than  
the other.  I have no preference, just seek to eliminate ambiguity.

(Given that marking up a name as a citation is common practice, and  
validator cannot distinguish between a name and a title of a work, should  
we widen the definition of <cite> to match the "English language"  
defintion "1. to quote or refer to (a passage, book, or author)" ? A  
different discussion, apologies)

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