Part of it is a request to improve the semantic extractor (or in fact, its underlying XSLT style sheet) to support the
cite element; 10 lines of XSLT later (which I could have linked to if the said style sheet was in W3C Public CVS repository), it does support it, as demonstrated on Karl’s page itself.
But why should one care that much about this element (or its close colleagues
q, confusingly completed by a
As Karl remind it, HTML was born in a scientific community, where the citations are a crucial part of any published paper (as a side note, when I look at the data model that the HTML specifications defines with its
samp and other historical artifacts, I always get the impression of looking at a cubist vision of the reality, where some parts of the world gets an incredible amount of visibility where others are simply ignored…)
As a matter of fact, citation analysis is a crucial part of the history of sciences:
Citation analysis is a well-established and widespread technique of assessing the influence and intellectual significance of published research over time. It provides the unique ability to pinpoint exactly when and where a particular paper or author was first cited or discussed. Historiographers of science and technology can use citation analysis to identify the most highly-cited individuals, institutions, and countries over time in terms of their individual or collective publishing records.
The limitations and shortcomings of citation analysis have been addressed by its critics and acknowledged by its proponents. Despite its flaws, no other methodology permits such precise identification of the individuals who have influenced thought, theory, and practice in the history of world science and technology.Historical Rankings of Science and Technology: A Citationist Perspective, Lynn C. Hattendorf Westney
No wonder that this same phenomenon has taken a huge importance in the blogosphere (as the 3rd million of blogs registered in Technocrati likely illustrates), where people gain in fame and popularity through the cross-citations that are made between blogs; as a matter fact, the Web itself is built exactly on this idea, where hyperlinks are really a generalization of the citations.
q add a useful layer of semantics to the basic
<a href, in so that they qualify the link as being a citation, and as such, as being important to the topic you’re addressing; even without a full citations search engine that makes Karl dream, if google were to give more karma to links enclosed in these elements, that would be a nice application of their semantics.