[uf-discuss] invisible metadata

Tantek Ç elik tantek at cs.stanford.edu
Fri Nov 18 09:39:20 PST 2005

On 11/18/05 9:21 AM, "Andy Hume" <andyhume at thedredge.org> wrote:

> Hi guys,
>>> http://usabletype.com/articles/2005/usable-microformats/
>> I searched the entire article for "none" both in the text and the
>> code and
>> didn't find any instances.  Therefore there is no use of
>> "display:none" and
>> no hidden text via CSS.
> That page does in fact include a vCard which is hidden via an
> external style sheet with something like:
> address .vcard {display:none;}

Thanks for the correction Andy.  Please consider removing that style rule.

>> As said before, microformats encourage the use of *visible data*, not
>> invisible (meta)data, and thus microformats agrees with the
>> position that
>> you should NOT use CSS to hide microformatted content.
> This is a concept I hadn't heard voiced before, and I guess I agree
> in principle.

Yes, this is a *very* important aspect of microformats.

> However, microformats could be powerful tool for marking up invisible
> meta data.

The problem is that invisible metadata is nearly worthless.  See previous
writings on this re: meta keywords etc.

You can certainly mark it up, but IMHO It is a waste of time and space to
markup (or even publish) invisible metadata, with microformats or anything

> It's machine readable, and essentially human readable as
> well. The only difference is the author has chosen to hide it in
> their presentation of the document.

The problem is that hiding data in the presentation has lots of negative
consequences, not the least of which are errors, deterioration, going out of
sync, etc.

A few more thoughts on this here:




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