[whatwg] The blockquote element spec vs common quoting practices

Bjartur Thorlacius svartman95 at gmail.com
Mon Jul 11 10:52:36 PDT 2011

On 7/8/11, Jeremy Keith <jeremy at adactio.com> wrote:
> Bjartur wrote:
>> Citation will most likely contain the cited resource (@cite), the title
>> of the cited resource (@title) and the date and optionally time of the
>> quote (@datetime?).
> All three of which are invisible and so do not match the use cases that Oli
> has outlined.
> At least @title has a tooltip but the @cite attribute has proven to be a
> complete disaster, unsupported by user agents and ignored by authors,
I'd like to reemphasize that:
> *unsupported by user agents*
So you're saying that because attributes aren't rendered by default, 
user agents will ignore them and thus we should not use them? Why can't 
we fix UAs? Putting attribution inside <blockquote>s seems like a hack 
around lax support for attributes. That what's CSS is for.

> precisely because it is *hidden* metadata.
> http://www.well.com/~doctorow/metacrap.htm
Yes, people lie. Unless you're arguing that using attribute syntax will 
encourage misquoting, I'll regard this article as interesting, 
correcting and unrelated. The article argues against searching for 
information in uncensored repositories of structured data prone to 
spamming, not typing <footer>asdf</footer> instead of title="asdf".

> So I think that we can learn from the history of the @cite attribute in that
> it shows us how *not* to do it.
>> But is it really possible to mark such citations up without presentational
>> elements?
> I'm not sure I understand the question. Do you mean "presentational" as in
> "not conveying semantics" or "presentational" as in "visible"?
Not conveying semantics. I'm not arguing against rendering attribution. 
On the contrary, IMO user agents should render at least the title of the 
cited resource. Interactive user agents should additionally make the 
cited resource available in manner similar to how they present other 
hyperlinked resources. Additionally user agents with superfluous screen 
space may render the datetime. Handheld renderings should of course not 
display the datetime without user interaction, but reserve the screen 
estate for more critical information, such as the quotation itself.

It's simply a question of
	Lorem ipsum
<a href="kennitala:2112952019" title="Bjartur Thorlacius">Bjartur</a>
on <time datetime="1997-4-2">the second April, 1997</time>
<blockquote title="Bjartur Thorlacius" datetime="1997-4-2" 
	Lorem ipsum

More information about the whatwg mailing list