[microformats-discuss] RFC: Thoughts on Video and Audio
Dr. Ernie Prabhakar
drernie at opendarwin.org
Tue Oct 18 13:10:36 PDT 2005
On Oct 18, 2005, at 12:50 PM, Charles Iliya Krempeaux wrote:
> I like to get some clarification here. When you say "The one concern
> I have with URNs... is that they are pretty much opaque". Who are you
> talking about? Opaque to who?
Me. :-) Sorry, "opaque" may not be the best word, so let me explain.
When I see:
I have no idea what that means, or whether it is the same or
different than the other URNs you list (without doing a detailed
Compare that with an actual URL, which tells me something about the
host and (usually) has human-readable names.
> To the person scripting the HTML code, the "urn" attribute is no more
> opaque than the "rev" or "rel" attribute. If we consider that using
> "rel" and "rev" is good practice (for Microformats) then I can't see
> why "urn" wouldn't be acceptable also. (Well, if it was still part of
> the latest HTML spec, that is.)
To be fair, if URNs had gotten picked up, may these uuid's may have
seemed more intuitive as a means of identification. But frankly, I
still think it would be clearer to use:
That is just as unique, but far more human-readable. That is what I
meant by 'opaque', even if my word choice was poor.
That is why I consider 'rel="proflie"' more transparent -- it
actually means something to a human, even if the semantics are
perhaps not as clear.
> And to the person viewing the HTML code,.... Just so I understand
> things, what makes "title" and "class" non-opaque? OK, "title" will
> popup up a "tooltip" (at least in my browser). But "class" is only
> visible when you apply a "style" to it. But there is nothing stopping
> you from applying styles based on the "urn" attribute (or any other
> attribute). (I've seen some nice examples of applying styles based on
> the "rel" attribute to find XFN usage.)
I completely agree that such things are *possible*. However, this
gets into the microformat zen of whether they are "natural." To me
at least, it seems perfectly natural to say:
a) All pick lists (where I'm choosing media) should use the
b) These picklists should be styled with a blue background
That, to me, is a natural semantic mapping. Yes, you could do the
same thing with 'urns', but it would be less obvious. Its a subtle
distinction, but a crucial part of "microformat zen."
> I think that many people only use the "class" attribute to apply
> style. And it has little to do with (usable) semantics.
Absolutely. The question is, is that a good thing or not? What I
might call the "strong microformat" position is that CSS classes
should *always* represent semantic content -- though most people even
on this list might not go _that_ far. :-)
> I think we need to consider how Microformats are going to be used...
> #1 Are they something we expect people to script by hand?
> #2 Or are they something people are going to generate with "code
> builders" and embed into webpages?
> (Certainly if #1 is our objective then #2 can certainly be met too
> without any conflict to #1. But anyways.)
It is absolutely to do both. In fact, this is almost a microformat
"Tools work best when they mimic what human beings do naturally. Not
-- Dr. Ernie, 10/18/2005 (for the quote board :-)
> If it is #2, then we should NOT use "urn". But we should also note
> use "rel" or "rev".
> But it is #1, then attributes seems acceptable. Or am I missing
I think you're missing the *cultural* difference in the way people
use "rel" with "href" to represent a human-meaningful content. This
is all about human perceptions, not Turing equivalent.
> (Which is where I think you are coming from. Although Microformats
> like hcard and hcalerdar have more "structure" to them... in the same
> way that <table> has more structure.)
> Yes,... I think I understand. You are using the "class" attribute to
> "invent" new tags. (Is that correct?)
Yes, absolutely. If there's an appropriate XHTML construct which
plausibly *does* carry the correct semantics, we ought to use that.
But if not, we should define that specific semantic as a new class
name, rather than (ab)using an existing tag inappropriately.
Hope this helps,
- Ernie P.
Ernest N. Prabhakar, Ph.D. <drernie at opendarwin.org>
Ex-Physicist, Marketing Weenie, and Dilettante Hacker
Probe-Hacker blog: http://www.opendarwin.org/~drernie/
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