[whatwg] The blockquote element spec vs common quoting practices

Jeremy Keith jeremy at adactio.com
Mon Jul 11 16:24:26 PDT 2011

Bjartur wrote:
> 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?

It's not a matter of "should not." Because user agents ignore them, we *do not* use them. And the main reason why we don't use them is that there's little to be gained: the information isn't presented to the end user.

Wishful thinking isn't going to make the @cite attribute any more useful or more widely adopted (either by authors or user agents).

> Putting attribution inside <blockquote>s seems like a hack around lax support for attributes.

No, putting attribution inside <blockquote>s solves the real-world use-cases that Oli has gathered together.

>> 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.

How can you say that the <footer> element would not convey semantics, when it is defined as follows:

"The footer element represents a footer for its nearest ancestor sectioning content or sectioning root element. A footer typically contains information about its section such as who wrote it, links to related documents, copyright data, and the like."

...and the <blockquote> element is a sectioning root. The semantics of those two elements match up perfectly.

> Interactive user agents should additionally make the cited resource available in manner similar to how they present other hyperlinked resources

Can you please give an example of user agents presenting *invisible* hyperlinked resources? @longdesc, perhaps?


Jeremy Keith

a d a c t i o


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