Quotes referenced with HTML

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I've wondered if it'd be correct to insert a quote within the text as a blockquote (o "q") with appropiate HTML declaration.

W3C defines blocquote as "content that is quoted from another source". Until now I declare those type of citations as paragraphs (something like <p class="citation">), but I think maybe it'd be correct define it as quotes.

Someone could help me about that?


Using blockquote is the more semantically correct way to identify quotes from another source, yes. The text is also offset from the margin by default, giving it visual distinction.

If the quote is only a part of a paragraph, you can use the inline q tag as an alternative.

If, however, you're creating pullquotes (visually distinguished quotes of your own text), using an aside is a better choice.

Thanks, Matt.

For the pullquotes, do you mean something like this?:

<p>Text text text</p>

<p>Quote quote quote</p>

<p>Text text text</p>

I think <aside> refers to some portion of text "outside" the common flow (as a footnote, for example).

Yes, I would have to agree with Matt. Upon my cursory look, that looks good.

My point is: I'm doing a book about II World War, with many excerpts: letters, quotes and declarations. Since many of this excerpts are not part of the text itself, must I declare them as blockquotes?

Thanks for the help.

blockquote, q (for the cited text) and cite (for the source information) are the appropriate elements.
In doubt one can use the cite attribute of blockquote and q to reference the cite element with the source information to be on the save side (the relation can be detected even by programs and scripts automatically). If the quotation is not considered to be in the normal text flow, such an additional use of aside around the quotation can be a good structure indication (maybe one uses some CSS to float the normal text around it), that the quotation is not considered to be in the normal flow of text or that it is not essential for the core text.

Due to the discussions of plagiarism and 'forgotten' quotation indications it gets more and more important to get it right and to indicate quotations properly and machine readable.

So, for an excerpt from a letter I'd use something like:

<p>Normal text:</p>

<blockquote>Excerpt from the letter</blockquote>
<cite>Source (if any)</cite>

<p>Text text text…</p>

Is this (semantically) correct?

According to the current HTML5 draft this is correct (but the structure is tag soup anyway).
To be backwards compatible to other, more strict versions of (X)HTML, it is better to use only block elements within blockquote (therefore the name).
Better variant (assuming that you quote a paragraph):

<p>Normal text:</p>

<p>Otto Sample noted already, that quoting is not easy [<cite id="Otto">'<a href="http://example.com/sourceFileItIsQuotedFromIfAvailable.xhtml#fragment">C... Quotations in PhD thesis</a>', Dr. Otto Sample, Magazine of Advanced Language Abstractions <b>117</b> (2014) 1435</cite>]:</p>

<blockquote cite="#Otto"><p>Excerpt from the letter.</p></blockquote>

<p>However we will try our best … more normal text...</p>

Of course, you can put your cite elements as well in a bibliography, in an aside at the bottom of the page etc. Hixie, the former main editor of the HTML5 draft insisted, that cite should (not only) contain the name of a cited person, but some source information. If not available as URI,
one can use other identification items as well, title and author, ISBN, DOI, URN etc, whatever helps to find the source. Not to provide a source is typically not correct (by law or at least by good behaviour). If it is from an unpublished source, maybe something like 'private communications, Dr. Otto Sample' or 'private letter from Bob to Alice' applies as source (obviously just a minor help for readers).

Note, that EPUB3 has a mechanism to reference precisely any glyph in (another) EPUB book, if required and even if the fragment has no own fragment identifier.

Another issue came into my mind reading that you quote from persons of the second world war: One can argue, that it would be not correct to republish statements without permission, if
the own work is not directly related by discussion or comment to the quoted passage.
For example here, theoretically you can get trouble if you republish today parts of Adolf Hitlers
'Mein Kampf' without own (scientific) contributions to the quoted passage, what could be implicated, if this would be in an aside without further own text.
Hitler died less than 70 years ago and the german 'Urheberrecht' applies.
Bayern (bavaria, federal state of germany) assumes to be responsible for this right concerning such works of Hitler and they do not allow to republish up to today out of a scientific context.
Therefore if you need such text, you should take care, that it is really necessary for your own work and closely connected and integrated in your own work to avoid discussions - therefore better not in an aside, if you do not have explicit permission or the author is not already dead for a long time ;o)

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