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Web design: The cite HTML element

A few days ago, I observed that the latest version of the HTML5.1 Editor's Draft has changed the meaning of the cite element: now it is allowed for many more things than just titles of works. The only requirement is that the contents of the element is a reference to a 'creative work' (in a very broad sense) and contains at least the title of the work, the author, or a URL. The contents can be of any form. I am not really fond of this change, since the previous version was much easier to use right and it had a very precise meaning. (It also was very useful in practice, since you generally do need some markup for titles because you generally want them in italics.) However, since the new version is a superset of the old one, in the sense that every valid use of cite according to the previous version is also valid according to the new version, this doesn't effect me, so I won't complain: I can still use the element the way I want to, and it is conforming.

Actually, I had the great privilege of discussing the matter directly with Steve Faulkner, one of the W3C HTML5 editors.


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