[uf-discuss] Microformat idea: store hours

Tantek Ç elik tantek at cs.stanford.edu
Fri Nov 11 18:09:21 PST 2005

On 11/11/05 1:36 PM, "Dr. Ernie Prabhakar" <drernie at opendarwin.org> wrote:

> Hi Paul,
> To be honest, I have a hard time seeing what (if any) advantage this
> has over just using hCard and hCalendar.

This is exactly the right way to start this analysis.

> The only question I have is
> whether hCalendar is generic enough to say things like:
>> Summer:
>>   Monday to Friday, 8AM to 5 PM
>>   Saturday 9 AM to 9 PM
>>   Sunday closed
>> Winter:
>>  ....
>>  Open weekends except Thanksgiving and Christimas
> That is, this does just sound to me like a calendar entry (after all
> hCalendar allows location fields).  However, I can't think of any way
> to represent a "non-event" like "closed", as an exception to an
> existing event.

I refer you to RFC2445 and the intricate details of RRULES which allow for
patterns of exceptions.

> On Nov 11, 2005, at 11:47 AM, Paul Schreiber wrote:
>> I mentioned this to Tantek a few weeks ago, and he said I should
>> email the list.

Welcome Paul!

Thanks for posting your suggestion here.

>> One type of structured data I would like to see on the web is store
>> hours.

Another way of phrasing this is:


There are a lot of business sites which indicate their name, phone number,
address and other fields modeled by hCard, but also the hours they are open,
which hCard lacks.

There are numerous examples of this on the web.

>> It would be really nice if I could go to a web site and find
>> out easily, and in a standard manner, what the hours of operation
>> are for that business.


Just as I can now automatically parse out hCard information from those
websites, I want to also be able to parse out the "hours open" data that
they are already publishing so that I can check which restaurants are open
at a certain time for event planning etc.

>> My first thought is that there is a lot of overlap with the
>> vcalendar microformat.

Good reuse instinct.

>> My second thought is that there are a lot of contingencies/edge
>> cases. For example:
>> * what about a web site for a chain of stores, each with different
>> hours?

Presumably each location has a different "event".

>> * what about a Target with one set of hours for the main store and
>> one set for the pharmacy?

Good example.  Or a mall which may be open late, but individual stores
inside may close early.

>> * what about exceptions, like holidays?
>> * what about stores with different sets of seasonal hours?
>> I'm sure the list has more ideas on this topic, and I'd love to
>> hear them.

This is an excellent write up of an area with numerous examples of data that
is currently published on the web, as well as a specific real-world problem
that you want solved.


I encourage you to start a new wiki page, say for example:


And enter in both the problem as you outlined it, and the follow-up
additions in this thread.

Thanks and welcome!


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