[whatwg] The blockquote element spec vs common quoting practices

Bjartur Thorlacius svartman95 at gmail.com
Sun Jul 17 15:18:12 PDT 2011

Þann sun 17.júl 2011 18:36, skrifaði Jukka K. Korpela:
> 17.07.2011 18:07, Nils Dagsson Moskopp wrote:
> I think it would be rather trivial. The string “ISBN” followed by
> something that matches the syntax of ISBN numbers, perhaps allowing some
> variation in punctuation, could be treated as an implicit link to a
> resource _if_ you have some mechanism(s) for mapping ISBN numbers to URLs.
> The key issue is whether browser vendors have interest in it and which
> mechanism(s) would be used. After all, an ISBN could be in a multitude
> of ways, like querying an online bookshop, querying an online
> bibliographic system, or querying an site of books in digital format
> online. Which one should be used? Would it be useful? To be really
> useful, it should be handled so that the browser checks what it can get
> using the ISBN and then make that information available to user (how to
> get bibliographic info, how to read reviews, how to buy the book, how to
> borrow it in a library, download or read the book via the net for free
> or for fee).
> I don’t think it’s much used in the wild, except on pages by
> organizations that define HTML specs. What might be the motivation for
> browsers to do something special with it? Surely you could make things
> so that by clicking on a blockquote, the user accesses the resource
> pointed to by the cite attribute. Browsers could do that, and so could
> authors. But would users actually start clicking on quotations to see
> their sources? Surely they would far more probably click on the title of
> a work in visible credits if present and if it is a link, so what would
> the cite attribute help?
Good point

> No, it’s not a category thing. It’s about the relativity of being
> “machine-readable.” You are probably thinking of data in a specific
> format designed to be easily parseable and useable by computer software,
> such as a URL, an ISO 8601 date notation, or an XML tag. But browsers
> already do many kinds of heuristics, parsing data that doesn’t really
> match the specs.
You *could* interpret handwritten text on a piece of paper using a 
machine and parse it as HTML. I'm not volunteering for making a machine 
for that task.

> A title of a work is easily useable by software: put it inside quotation
> marks and throw it at Google, and the odds are that you get some useful
> links related to it, if there’s info on the work (and perhaps the work
> itself) on the web at all. Well, assuming that the title is relatively
> unique.

> Titles of works are often more useful in the long run than URLs. URLs
> change far too often when sites are revamped or for other reasons.
ISBNs are more useful in the long run than titles. Good titles get 
reused far too often.

> I think a good start would be to add an optional (but usually
> recommended) <credits> or <source> element for use inside <blockquote>.
What about the common case of multiple quotations credited to the same 
source (interleaved with comments).

More information about the whatwg mailing list