[microformats-discuss] Visible metadata (was: Re: Microformat for blog-searchand characterizing)

Robert Bachmann rbach at rbach.priv.at
Sun Jul 24 10:44:34 PDT 2005

Tantek Çelik wrote:
> However, this kind of use of <meta> is for the most part not much different
> in mechanism from meta keywords, and is thus has all the same
> vulnerabilities.
> In short, invisible metadata works in small experiments, maybe even just
> among small crowds of people, but when it goes mainstream, the signal
> inevitably deteriorates to noise.  [...]

One could - and I do - interpret relTags as the visible pendant of
 <meta name="keywords" value="..." />

Besides meta keywords there are also other meta tags.
The most common I'm aware of are "author", "description" and "date".
It could make sense to make them visible.
Here are my ideas:

Some web pages, my homepage for example, provide the date of the last edit:
 <p>Last modified: Sunday, July 24 2005</p>

This information could be made machine-readable using the <abbr>
technique from hCalendar:
 <p><abbr class="last-modified-date" title="2005-07-24">Sunday, July 24

Somebody might think <abbr class="last-modified-date"> is redundant
because of the HTTP Last-Modified header.
I don't think so because the HTTP Last-Modified header describes when
_the file_ was last modified, <abbr class="last-modified-date">
describes when the last edit of _the content_ happened.

The author(s) of a page could be denoted with

 <span class="author">John Doe</span> and
 <span class="author">Winston Smith</span>


 <a href="http://example.org/~jd" class="author">John Doe</a> and
 <a href="http://example.org/~ws" class="author">Winston Smith</a>

The description meta tag is used to provide a summary of a page,
sometimes this summary is also part of the visible content, e.g:

There is a description meta tag containing a summary and a yellow box
containing the same text.

 <p class="summary">...</p>
one could mark the summary, so that robots can extract it instead of the
description meta tag.

List subscribers, please tell me what you think.

Robert Bachmann <rbach at rbach.priv.at> (OpenPGP KeyID: 0x4A5CCF10)

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