Research, data, use cases, issues, and enhancements related to the HTML5
The cite element has been used (and recommended to be used) to refer to speakers in a conversation, or individuals when quoting them, thus HTML5 should explicitly permit and encourage this use.
This section serves to document both uses in the wild, and long-standing recommendations/documentations thereof.
Examples in the Wild
- 2003-08-23: Won’t somebody please think of the gerbils? by Mark Pilgrim:
I mark up names of people I link to (like in the list above) with the CITE tag, and I have a script that runs every night that aggregates those tags and creates posts by citation.
- transcript of the presentation “What Brian Cant Never Taught You About Metadata”, by Drew McLellen (this is from a template I provided the transcription company; all others are similar structure. brucel)
- Many blog posts on adactio.com, e.g Blame from 2008-01-09:
...something Bruce Sterling said at last year’s South by Southwest...
- Default WordPress theme ("Kubrick") uses cite for name of commenters. That's approx 46 bajillion instances.
- The transcripts for comics (#34 and onward) at CSSquirrel. The links to the transcripts are hidden from sighted users, one example is: Transcript #35 2009-09-08
- 2005-05-16: Speakers in this Towneley Lazarus play edition are identified using CITE.
- Testimonials on the website for Go Figure Inc. use cite to denote the names/locations of the people who provided the testimonial
- The Law Offices of Thomas G Guiney uses cite to mark up the names of speakers for testimonial quotes.
- Podcast transcript from dConstruct 2009 (more)
- Various "conversations"/transcripts at Petroglyphs, e.g. dialogue, and CSS classes defined for terms, titles, etc. (XMDP)
- any article at Einfach für Alle (major german accessibility resource), e.g.  (see sidebar, 4th box from top labelled "mehr dazu:") uses cite to mark up authors' names
- 1998-04-24 HTML 4.0 REC
Contains a citation or a reference to other sources.
As <CITE>Harry S. Truman</CITE> said,
<Q lang="en-us">The buck stops here.</Q>
More information can be found in <CITE>[ISO-0000]</CITE>.
- 1999-12-24 HTML 4.01 REC (same definition and examples as quoted above).
- 2005-03-13: The Elements of Meaningful XHTML presentation (to an overflowing room at SXSW Interactive 2005 in Austin, TX) specifically, slide10 and following document blog quote markup, and slide 19 and following document conversation markup.
original intent of cite element
- 2007-06-07 Dan Connolly, Editor of HTML 2.0, said in IRC that
<cite> was supposed to capture the chicago-manual-of-style idiom for titles of works. I have lost track of what it means these days.
- This may have been the original intent (original theoretical purity), however, based on the example in the HTML4 spec(s) and adoption by the web community over the past 10+ years (see above examples in the wild), it makes more sense to define the <cite> element per actual usage (preferring authors), rather than original intent (theoretical purity), per the priority of constituencies HTML design principle. - Tantek 22:18, 13 August 2010 (UTC)
- "DanC said allowing <cite> for speakers was a bug in HTML 4 that happened because he was asleep at the wheel."
- Regardless of what DanC as a specifier may have intended, the authors have widely adopted the usage of cite for speakers, and thus since authors are considered over specifiers (per above-referenced design principle), we should prefer author usage over original specifier intent.
speakers are not italicized typically
- "Since speakers aren't italicized typically, using <cite> for them doesn't really make sense. "
- This sounds like either an argument from presentation, which seems backwards, as semantics should be determined first, and then authors can style semantics however they wish, or it's an argument from default presentation implementation, in which case once again per priority of constituencies HTML design principle, since authors are considered over implementers, we should respect author usage of cite for speakers over any particular implementer opinion of what cite should do or look like.
Opinions on whether HTML5 should explicitly permit and encourage use of the cite element to refer to speakers in a conversation, or individuals when quoting them:
- +1 HTML5 Super Friends, specifically cite element: review of data.
- +1 Tantek
- +1 Jeremy Keith
- +1 Bruce Lawson, article agreeing with Tantek, July 06 Breaking news: w3c specs are not the Word of God
- +1 Kyle Weems
- +1 Erik Vorhes
- +1 Matt Harris
- -0 EdwardOConnor
- +1 Tab Atkins Jr.
- +1 Citing in HTML5 by Rachael L. Moore
- +1 Tomas Caspers
- +1 NickFitz
- +1 Asbjørn Ulsberg
- +1 HTML5's <cite> element: what is it good for? by Steve Webster
- +1 Jonathan Schofield
- +1 Dimitar Haralanov
- +1 Andy Mabbett
Articles supporting the use of the cite element for marking up speakers:
- 24 Ways: Incite A Riot, 2009-12-11, by Jeremy Keith
Frequently Asked Questions about using the cite element for marking up speakers.
how do you connect the speaker cite to what was saidQuestion: How could we connect the speaker, CITE to what was said, Q, without nesting? Perhaps using FOR, as in form labels:
<cite for="good">Andy Mabbett</cite> said <q id="good">This is good</q>.On the other hand, if we reverse that we could have a many-to-one relationship:
<cite id="andy">Andy Mabbett</cite> said <q for="andy">This is good</q> and later said <q for="andy">This is better</q>.</nowiki>
Answer: The existing 'cite' attribute on the <q> and <blockquote> elements can be used for this, in HTML4 and later:
<cite id="andy">Andy Mabbett</cite> said <q cite="#andy">This is good</q> and later said <q cite="#andy">This is better</q>.