[whatwg] The blockquote element spec vs common quoting practices

Bjartur Thorlacius svartman95 at gmail.com
Fri Jul 15 09:56:10 PDT 2011

On 7/15/11, Jukka K. Korpela <jkorpela at cs.tut.fi> wrote:
> Should it? Even when the book has no URL? If you expect urn:isbn:… to
> work anytime soon in any significant browser, you’re very optimistic.
Wikipedia and Amazon (among others) have all the mechanisms already.
Such ISBN handlers could even be registered by JavaScripts.

> Browsers currently treat <cite> just like <i> (except that it has a
> different name). There is no sign of advance functionality emerging. It
> does not matter how usable something is when it does not exist at all.
<Cite> is not nearly as useful as @cite.

> I forgot to mention that the ISBN number should be included visibly in
> the credits, especially because it is usually the simplest and sometimes
> the only reasonable way to identify a book unambiguously (and can be
> copied and pasted into a suitable bibliographic search form). It’s
So you're saying that users should rather search for the term ISBN,
select the following number, copy it, remove/add hyphens as necessary
and then paste it to a suitable bibliographic search form? Instead of
registering a suitable bibliographic search form once, and having the
user agent do the hard work in a click or two?

> metadata, but metadata that need not and should not be hidden but
> presented in textual content. At most it might be included into elements
> that are not initially displayed but become available when the user so
> requests—possibly some day via the <details> element if browsers
> implement it well.
But browsers need to be told that that number close to the quotation
is an ISBN. And if you always hide it in <details>, user agents may be
compelled to expand it by default, making it unusable for e.g. hiding
answers to a quiz.

> The cite attribute in <blockquote> should really be moved to the
> non-recommended part of HTML. It hardly ever serves a useful purpose,
> and it tends to mislead authors into including important information
> _only_ in the attribute, which has no browser support worth mentioning
> (despite having been in HTML for over 13 years).
Before you said <cite> was implemented as <i>, and your point is that
the cite attribute is useless? They're barely related, @cite contains
an URI, that an user agent might be able to use in an automated
fashion. <Cite> contains a human-readable name of a work. That'll
rarely be machine-readable.

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