1. HTML5 Doesn't Like You Citing People

    jake on 2008.02.21
    at 12:01 am

    Yesterday Mark Pilgrim pointed out something odd in the HTML5 draft spec. In the reference for the cite element (including a snarky comment) the author has declared that people cannot be cited. At least not with the cite element (neither can ships, but they only really offer wisdom in cartoons). As we push for more semantics this draft pulls them away.

    A person’s name is not the title of a work — even if people call that person a piece of work — and the element must therefore not be used to mark up people’s names.

    The most peculiar part is the suggestion to use the semantically void b element as an alternative. Apparently for “marking names as being keywords.”

    Looking to Merriam-Webster we can see references to giving credit to a source, not exclusively through a piece of work.

    2: to quote by way of example, authority, or proof
    3 a: to refer to; especially : to mention formally in commendation or praise b: to name in a citation

    Comments can use markup affected by this declaration. And while a comment might not reference a previous work it is supplemental content added to the blog post. Consequently if the primary content is owned by the author of the page then the comments from others, especially if a web site or email link is included, are pointing back to their source. The cite element fits.

    If they’re looking to improve cite they should put a for attribute like the label element or a method to anchor it to a quote.

    Posted in: Programming · Rant · Web


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