cite-rel: Difference between revisions

From Microformats Wiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search
m (Reverted edit of CarlaHufstedler, changed back to last version by EranGloben)
m (Reverted edits by CooloAlacl (Talk) to last version by Tantek)
(3 intermediate revisions by 3 users not shown)
(No difference)

Latest revision as of 19:05, 3 January 2009

Cite-rel Draft Specification 2006–02–21


  • EranGloben
  • RyanKing


Thanks to Tantek Çelik for his inspiration and help with the original hVia specification which eventually evolved into this.


This specification is (C) 2005-2006 by the authors. However, the authors intend to submit this specification to a standards body with a liberal copyright/licensing policy such as the GMPG (, IETF (, and/or W3C ( Anyone wishing to contribute should read their copyright principles, policies and licenses (e.g. the GMPG Principles ( and agree to them, including licensing of all contributions under all required licenses (e.g. CC-by 1.0 ( and later), before contributing.


This specification is subject to a royalty free patent policy, e.g. per the W3C Patent Policy (, and IETF RFC3667 ( & RFC3668 (


This document is the initial draft for the proposed cite-rel microformat. The author(s) wish to encourage anyone reading this document to offer their feedback, critique or opinion regarding the proposed microformat. You may do so on the distributed-discussion-issues page.

cite-rel is one of several microformats. By adding rel values to an XHTML CITE tag, a blog post (for example) can indicate its place in a distributed conversation.

  Sample Simon said in 
  <cite class="rev-reply">
     <a href="">Example post</a>

The author indicates that the post containing the above markup is in reply to the post at This assertion will typically apply to a single blog post (or other such element in an online discussion forum).

Other relationships between pages or posts are also possible, for example via links, updates of previous versions and re-blogging (or forwarding) of content.


Cite-rel is specifically designed for tracking distributed conversations carried out over several online discussion forums.

This document does not cover issues related to describing blogs, defining the exact scope of a blog post and other meta-data related to it or proper formats for citation.


In general

The general structure of cite-rel is based on simple XHTML building blocks:

  <cite id="ID" class="RELATION"><a href="SOURCE">source</a></cite>
  <blockquote cite="#ID">
     quoted text

The intended semantic meaning of the above structure is “this document cites the document referenced in the link. The relationship between is as described by RELATION. The authors believe that this is a good general format for simple HTML citations. Optionally you may express the connection between the quoted text and the cited source by using the "cite" attribute in the quote/blockquote element.

Relationship values

Cite-rel covers the following possible relationships between documents:

  • Via – a hat-tip or via link, commonly used by bloggers to give credit to someone for providing the information to the blogger.
  • Reply – a reply, as one might see in Email or Usenet discussions.
  • Forward – repeating a post or part of a post as one might forward an Email message.
  • Update – an updated version as one might see in published standards.

All the above relationships (besides via) can be used on both original and follow-up post. To make the relationship explicitly clear we use rel and rev prefixes on those relationships in the same manner that one might use a rel or rev attribute. The resulting relationship class names are as follows.

  • via
  • rev-reply (this document is in reply to the cited document)
  • rel-reply (the cited document is in reply to this one)
  • rev-forward
  • rel-forward
  • rev-update
  • rel-update


  Via: <cite class="via">
     <a href=""> Mr. Example </a>
  In reply to <cite class="rev-reply">
  <a href="">
  this post</a></cite>
  by <a href=""> Ryan King </a>.
  This is an update to my
  <cite id="cow_cite" class="rev-update">
     <a href="">previous post</a>
  on this topic where I claimed that:
  <blockquote cite="#cow_cite">
     Cows can fly.
  Well, I now have proof!
  Ryan had some 
  <cite class="rel-reply">
     <a href="">
        additional ideas
  about the format.

XMDP profile

see XMDP Profile


This section is informative. The following implementations have been developed which either generate or parse cite-rel. If you have a cite-rel implementation, feel free to add it to the top of this list. Once the list grows too big, we'll make a separate wiki page.

  • ...


Normative References

Informative References

  • This document was originally cloned from the rel-directory specification.
  • Distributed-conversation-examples
  • Distributed-conversation-brainstorming


For discussion of cite-rel see distributed-conversation-brainstorming and distributed-conversation.