communications log, "tel" microformat? (was Re: [uf-discuss] Paving the cowpaths?)

Tantek Ç elik tantek at
Thu Nov 24 10:25:36 PST 2005

Simon, welcome to the list!

A quick re-use thought on your question:

Is a communication log simply a special case of a web log?

Perhaps consider using hAtom for the top level structure (list of dated

In addition, you *may* have just pointed out that there is a need for an
elemental "tel" microformat which we could create in the same way that we
extracted "geo" and "adr" microformats from hCard.

I'm curious, do people think there are sufficient examples of "naked" phone
numbers on the web (outside of contact information for a specific person or
organization) to justify the creation of an elemental "tel" microformat to
mark them up explicitly?

In the mean time, as Ryan King as pointed out, there is nothing stopping you
from simply marking up your phone calls using semantic class names, which
you could re-use from hCard, to note the phone number in particular, e.g.:

<span class="tel">+1.415.555.1212</span>

With that plus the hAtom structures, you may have enough for your
"communications log".

Hope that helps,


On 11/24/05 10:13 AM, "Ryan King" <ryan at> wrote:

> On Nov 24, 2005, at 6:45 AM, Simon Kittle wrote:
>> Hi,
>> I've a question regarding microformats and whether they might be
>> applicable
>> to a problem I'm trying to solve.  As I read the 'process' on the
>> microformat wiki I come up against things which seem to deem them
>> unsuitable, but I wanted to post to ask the experts.
>> The (initial) problem I'm trying to solve is that of storing a log of
>> telephone calls made and received in a structured manner.  I'm
>> guessing this
>> hits a problem straight away in that it's not really a cowpath.
>> People
>> don't generally do this at the moment - although, many people keep
>> these
>> records, they just don't publish them. (And they are usually
>> incomplete
>> because they're just the "last 50 calls" list on a phone.)
> So, maybe there's no need for  µF here, but you could still take the
> Semantic XHTML approach in solving this problem. Remember, µFs are an
> outgrowth of semantic XHTML in general
>> I keep a "last 6 months call list" and find it really useful. (It's
>> in CSV
>> at the moment, from my smartphone)  I also keep notes on some calls (a
>> 'communications log' with all those pesky utility companies, is the
>> most
>> common type).  What I do at the moment is "publish" that in OneNote
>> which is
>> disconnected to the source calls list and a bit of hard work to
>> maintain.
>> I've seen other people keep these kind of notes too, some in an ultra
>> organised fashion (MS Journal), and some in a less organised fashion.
>> What I'd like to do is have these events hanging from a timeline -
>> preferrably one searchable, linkable, and preferably in a format
>> both human
>> readable (first) and then also machine readable.  This is where the
>> blog
>> comes in.  A blog running on my local PC storing all this info.
>> The ultimate vision is obviously far more than storing notes on a
>> few phone
>> calls.  A log of all exercise done perhaps. (Currently in a
>> notebook, but
>> more usefully as part of a time-orientated info repositary
>> browseable by me
>> and processable by my machines.
>> Given that microformats are about paving them cowpaths, and given
>> that this
>> isn't one in the sense that people aren't blogging like this now, am I
>> barking up the wrong tree?  In many ways the structing of XHTML that
>> microformats provides is so well suited I wanted to post and get some
>> thoughts.
> Like I say above, there's probably not room here for a microformat
> (how many people is 80% of one person, anyway?), but you could
> certainly store and/or publish your data in semantic xhtml, using
> microformats where appropriate.
> -ryan
> --
> Ryan King
> ryan at
> _______________________________________________
> microformats-discuss mailing list
> microformats-discuss at

More information about the microformats-discuss mailing list