[whatwg] The blockquote element spec vs common quoting practices

Jukka K. Korpela jkorpela at cs.tut.fi
Sun Jul 17 21:08:41 PDT 2011

18.07.2011 01:18, Bjartur Thorlacius wrote:

>> 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.

ISBNs have their uses (otherwise they wouldn’t be used), but they are 
codes, not names—suitable for use as unique identifiers, not in 
marketing and discussions. A quality quotation has credits that mention 
author, book title, book ISBN, and location within book. All this can be 
done in printed publications without any links or markup. So the 
adequate question is: which markup (if any) should we use for and within 
the credits?

I haven’t seen many attempts to address this question. Maybe it’s not 
that crucial, as proper credits work without markup too—markup could 
just be very useful enhancement. But <blockquote> as a semantic element 
is wishful thinking then.

HTML5 is currently making this a bit worse by explicitly forbidding 
<blockquite> from containing anything that doesn’t come from the 
external source, such as credits—without even telling how to deal with 
credits then.

>> 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).

People solve such issues every day when writing books and articles, 
using references to previous mentions of sources. At the shortest, “op. 
cit.” In hypertext, the reference can be made to a link.

Yucca, http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/

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