[whatwg] Using footer in blockquote for attribution

Oli Studholme whatwg.org at boblet.net
Thu Jun 30 08:50:20 PDT 2011

Hi All,

Over at http://html5doctor.com we’ve been using this pattern when
quoting e.g. from the HTML5 spec:

  <p>[block quote]</p>
  <footer>— <cite><a href="…">[title of work]</a></cite></footer>

I wrote about our use of blockquote and footer in
http://html5doctor.com/blockquote-q-cite/ recently, which lead to
http://www.w3.org/Bugs/Public/show_bug.cgi?id=13082. To recap:

Footer definition:
  “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.”

Blockquote definition:
  “The blockquote element represents a section that is quoted from
another source. Content inside a blockquote must be quoted from
another source, whose address, if it has one, may be cited in the cite

Simon felt that “Content inside a blockquote must be quoted from
another source” excludes footer. However the footer definition reads
to me that footer is basically metadata *about* content (the
non-footer or -header content of the sectioning or sectioning root

I’m happy to propose some reasons for allowing this, but to start with
does blockquote’s definition beat footer’s definition? Or, is footer
considered content as far as the blockquote definition is concerned?

Thanks in advance.

peace - oli studholme

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