We have chosen <blockquote class="role-ADMONITION"> rather than <div
class="role-ADMONITION"> to represent admonitions
for a very minor convenience: the default CSS style of blockquotes
is somewhat adapted to admonitions.
We totally understand your point ("To use blockquote for notes goes
against its semantics"), but we don't plan to change our implementation
of admonitions in the near future. Sorry.
The aside element represents a section of a page that consists of
content that is tangentially related to the content of the parenting
sectioning content, and which could be considered separate from that
This rules out <aside> for implementing admonitions. An admonition is
something 100% related to the rest of the story. The reader may skip
reading an <aside>; she/he should not skip reading an admonition.
On 02/25/2018 09:45 PM, Leif Halvard Silli wrote:
You may have taken into account that someone could react to this, so
this could be shot it in the air ... But nevertheless:
The Ebook vocabulary uses <blockquote class="role-FOO">…</blockquote>
for notes (notes, warnings, cautions, restrictions etc). This is
controversial since blockquote is meant for (long) quotations. Citing
]] The blockquote element represents content that is quoted from
another source, [[
Obviously, even if the text inside a note is just boilerplate text (and
thus, in a sense taken from somewhere else), it does not represent
”content that is quoted from another source".
The elements that seem correct for the "notes" usecase, are <p
class="role-note"> (or <div class="role-note"><p/></div>), <figure
class="role-note"> or <aside class="role-note"> - all of them good
choices, I think. A quick evaluation of them:
<p class="role-note">: What speaks for <p class="role-note"> is …
* The HTML5 specification itself uses <p class="note"> for notes. For
multi-paragraph notes, it uses <div
class="note"><p>...</p><p>...</p></div>. See for instance the notes
inside the HTML5 specification of the figure element.2
* Use of <p> or <div><p/></div> is a strong indication that the note
is ”part of the content” and not ”complementary” content (see below).
<figure>: What speaks for the the <figure> element is …
1. that <figcaption> can be used to set the type of note (warning,
caution, important etc) - currently the type of note is not rendered
to the reader. (At the very least, currently, when converting to
HTML, the type is not included.)
2. that it is not untypical that figures can be reused in many
different contexts - and the notes use case seems like a case where
same text can be used in many different locations of a larger text.
3. that the <figure> also has the same graphical advantages as the use
of <blockquote>, namely it indents the content so that it is
visually separate from the surrounding text.
<aside>: What speaks for <aside> is …
1. that, according to HTML5, the ”aside element represents a section of
a page that consists of content that is tangentially related to the
content of the parenting sectioning content, and which could be
considered separate from that content. Such sections are often
represented as sidebars in printed typography.”
2. that <aside> is meant, amongst other things, for ”pull quotes”,
which have a resemblence of ”notes”.
3. that the default ARIA role of <aside> is ”complementary”, which
means that it represents “A large perceivable region that contains
information about the parent document.“ 
The choice between <aside> and the other options seems to boil down to
whether such ”notes” should be considered ”part of the content“. Citing
the specification of <figure>:
]] For example, a pull quote that repeats content from an article
would be more appropriate in an aside than in a figure, because it
isn’t part of the content, it’s a repetition of the content for the
purposes of enticing readers or highlighting key topics. [[
The logic to be gleaned seems to be that if the text is an “about text”
- a text about the text - then it is not “part of the content” but
rather an aside. And since - or as long as - "notes” are pieces of text
that tell the user how to read “the content”, the <aside> element seems
right. And, as the HTML spec points out, one may wrap a <figure> inside
the <aside>, if need be - that way one may get the the correct semantics
from <aside>, and the graphical indent from the <figure>.
My preference, based one the semantics that speaks most to me, is to use
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