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Blockquote in Strict XHTML

 
 
mavigozler
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      12-07-2008

Can someone explain to me why it is not inane for the W3 to have
recommended in strict XHTML that the element BLOCKQUOTE should actually
contain block-level elements (P, DIV, etc) rather than be contained by
block-level elements or, at the very least, sit outside of any (other)
elements of the type block or inline containing text/character data?

Please explain to me the logic of the current recommendation, and why
it----among many other things in the (X)HTML and CSS recommendations----
defies intuitive thought.
 
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Jukka K. Korpela
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      12-07-2008
mavigozler wrote:

> Can someone explain to me why it is not inane for the W3 to have
> recommended in strict XHTML that the element BLOCKQUOTE should
> actually contain block-level elements (P, DIV, etc) rather than be
> contained by block-level elements or, at the very least, sit outside
> of any (other) elements of the type block or inline containing
> text/character data?


First of all, there is nothing new in XHTML in this respect (either): HTML
4.01 allows only block elements as descendants of BLOCKQUOTE in Strict
version - and so does HTML 2.0. HTML 3.2 was an excursion to sloppyness in
this respect (too).

> Please explain to me the logic of the current recommendation,


Since the BLOCKQUOTE element means block quotation, it is natural to expect
that the quoted material consists of a block or a sequence of blocks. If you
quote a paragraph, a P element, it is natural to expect you to retain the P
markup inside BLOCKQUOTE.

The main logical problem with this is that often you would want to quote
part of a paragraph (or other block) and yet declare it as a block
quotation. Of course you could use, in text content, omission indicators so
that logically you do quote the whole block, just with some parts indicated
as omitted:

<blockquote>
<p>[&hellip;] quoted part [&hellip;]</p>
</blockquote>

but this would deviate from normal practice in quotations. So you could just
use DIV markup inside BLOCKQUOTE or even use the Transitional syntax if you
like - there won't really be any punishment for it.

> and why
> it----among many other things in the (X)HTML and CSS
> recommendations---- defies intuitive thought.


I'm afraid a common "intuitive thought" reads "blockquote" as "indent".
Under such thinking, restriction to block-level content is not obvious.

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

 
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dorayme
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      12-07-2008
In article <(E-Mail Removed)>,
Ben C <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

> On 2008-12-07, Jukka K. Korpela <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
> > mavigozler wrote:
> >
> >> Can someone explain to me why it is not inane for the W3 to have
> >> recommended in strict XHTML that the element BLOCKQUOTE should
> >> actually contain block-level elements (P, DIV, etc) rather than be
> >> contained by block-level elements or, at the very least, sit outside
> >> of any (other) elements of the type block or inline containing
> >> text/character data?

> [...]
> >> Please explain to me the logic of the current recommendation,

> >
> > Since the BLOCKQUOTE element means block quotation, it is natural to expect
> > that the quoted material consists of a block or a sequence of blocks. If
> > you
> > quote a paragraph, a P element, it is natural to expect you to retain the P
> > markup inside BLOCKQUOTE.

> [...]
> > I'm afraid a common "intuitive thought" reads "blockquote" as "indent".
> > Under such thinking, restriction to block-level content is not obvious.

>
> I still don't think it's obvious. It's just as natural and more
> intuitive to say that a BLOCKQUOTE is a kind of block, not that it
> quotes a block.


You are probably right, though there is some argument the other way.
Here is an argument that supports the idea that it would be best seen as
a kind of block, as you say.

The task is to mark up what is between the dashed lines in a printed
essay on HTML design which itself is required to be marked up for online
presentation.

------
The following paragraph was marked up in a P element:

"Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Pellentesque
augue.Suspendisse consectetuer velit nec neque. Duis nec orci quis nulla
egestas fermentum.Ut quis eros. Aenean at augue vitae quam posuere
vehicula."
-----

(I use the quotes to aid imagining indentation, which I can't do
reliably in my newsreader)

The idea here is to actually isolate the words and display them, the
words are not being used to say things, they are being quoted. So it
would not be right strictly to mark them up in a paragraph element. What
was originally marked up in a paragraph element was done so correctly.
But the aim of consciously isolating the text from the markup being
referred to is intuitively best done via an (ideal) blockquote that
allowed loose text.

--
dorayme
 
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Jukka K. Korpela
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      12-07-2008
dorayme wrote:

> The task is to mark up what is between the dashed lines in a printed
> essay on HTML design which itself is required to be marked up for
> online presentation.


It's rather contrived. We should use examples other than texts about HTML
usage when discussing HTML usage; otherwise people get confused all too
easily

> ------
> The following paragraph was marked up in a P element:
>
> "Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit.
> Pellentesque augue.Suspendisse consectetuer velit nec neque. Duis nec
> orci quis nulla egestas fermentum.Ut quis eros. Aenean at augue vitae
> quam posuere vehicula."
> -----


What's the problem with that? You use BLOCKQUOTE and inside it you use P,
since the piece of text is clearly designated as paragraph in your text.

> The idea here is to actually isolate the words and display them, the
> words are not being used to say things, they are being quoted.


The example uses childish babble instead of proper text, but your text still
calls it a paragraph, so it shall be marked up as if it were a paragraph. It
is not a real quotation in other ways either - no actual source, no credits,
no point in quoting - but if you take that position, then your whole
question vanishes in a puff of logic. You would be left with a paragraph
only, and the rest is styling.

> So it would not be right strictly to mark them up in a paragraph element.


You indicate it as quoted using BLOCKQUOTE, but this does not affect the
markup for the content itself.

> What was originally marked up in a paragraph element was done so
> correctly. But the aim of consciously isolating the text from the
> markup being referred to is intuitively best done via an (ideal)
> blockquote that allowed loose text.


It seems that you thoroughly confused yourself. When you convert printed
matter to HTML format, you use normal markup principles, so anything that is
apparently a paragraph shall be marked up as a P element.

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

 
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dorayme
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      12-08-2008
In article <cYX_k.102217$(E-Mail Removed) >,
"Jukka K. Korpela" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

> dorayme wrote:
>
> > The task is to mark up what is between the dashed lines in a printed
> > essay on HTML design which itself is required to be marked up for
> > online presentation.

>
> It's rather contrived. We should use examples other than texts about HTML
> usage when discussing HTML usage; otherwise people get confused all too
> easily
>


I agree. But now and then, an odd case, artificial or not, can bring out
an unreasonableness in a strategy in spite of odd cases sometimes making
bad law.

If blockquote were to allow loose text as well as block elements, it
would cover these odd cases and others. I know of no special argument to
show this is not a net gain. Your considerations are all fine enough,
but they do not show there nothing to be gained by losing the
restriction we are discussing.

> > ------
> > The following paragraph was marked up in a P element:
> >
> > "Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit.
> > Pellentesque augue.Suspendisse consectetuer velit nec neque. Duis nec
> > orci quis nulla egestas fermentum.Ut quis eros. Aenean at augue vitae
> > quam posuere vehicula."
> > -----

>
> What's the problem with that? You use BLOCKQUOTE and inside it you use P,
> since the piece of text is clearly designated as paragraph in your text.
>


The question turns on what you mean by "designated". Unclarity about
this acts as a dust cloud to hide the finer details.

> > The idea here is to actually isolate the words and display them, the
> > words are not being used to say things, they are being quoted.

>
> The example uses childish babble instead of proper text


What could be more proper text in this context than lorem text, the
context requiring any example text?

....

>
> > What was originally marked up in a paragraph element was done so
> > correctly. But the aim of consciously isolating the text from the
> > markup being referred to is intuitively best done via an (ideal)
> > blockquote that allowed loose text.

>
> It seems that you thoroughly confused yourself. When you convert printed
> matter to HTML format, you use normal markup principles, so anything that is
> apparently a paragraph shall be marked up as a P element.


Except in a situation where the specific collection of words is being
referred to but not necessarily as a meaningful set of words.

Perhaps I should make my meaning plainer. It is a slightly hard point to
make though, you need to concentrate and not dismiss it too quickly.
(Wait 5 mins and then dismiss it! <g>). Let me try again:

You want, for whatever reason, to point out that a collection of words
were uttered by someone. You might not even know what they mean or even
whether they are a paragraph or lines of a poem or utterances in the
speaker's sleep. You simply don't know or simply are not sure what the
words as a whole are meant to convey, you might have overheard a snippet
of a conversation, whatever.

Now I am saying that it is an unnecessarily pesky thing to have to make
any decision about the "appropriate" element (a P, UL, whatever...) when
your sole aim is to show the reader the collection of words. To be able
to throw the words into a blockquote loose would be nice. The blockquote
technology is unnecessarily complicated.

I don't *feel* confused. But one is never a good judge of these things
in one's own case, I admit.

--
dorayme
 
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dorayme
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      12-08-2008
In article
<(E-Mail Removed)>,
dorayme <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

> You want, for whatever reason, to point out that a collection of words
> were uttered by someone.


Suppose you want, for whatever reason, to point out that a collection of
words *was* uttered by someone.

--
dorayme
 
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