[uf-discuss] very simple microformat for URIs

Tantek Ç elik tantek at cs.stanford.edu
Wed Apr 5 14:46:20 PDT 2006

On 4/5/06 2:31 PM, "Alf Eaton" <lists at hubmed.org> wrote:

> On 05 Apr 2006, at 17:24, Tantek Çelik wrote:
>> On 4/5/06 2:19 PM, "Alf Eaton" <lists at hubmed.org> wrote:
>>> On 05 Apr 2006, at 17:14, David Janes -- BlogMatrix wrote:
>>>> Alf Eaton wrote:
>>>>> At the moment, microformatted URIs are generally marked up in the
>>>>> href attribute of an <a> tag with a class of 'url' (hreview,
>>>>> hcard) or 'email' (hcard). This works for URIs that normally have
>>>>> browser protocol handlers (http:, mailto:), but not so well for
>>>>> other URIs (urn:, info:, etc) - which are particularly important
>>>>> in the context of a citation microformat.
>>>> Ummm ... this is because one is identifying _this particular link_
>>>> as having a well defined meaning. I.e. this is the hcard's URL, as
>>>> defined by vCard. It's not saying that "this is a URL" or "this is
>>>> a e-mail address", except within that narrow definition.
>>> Exactly - you're saying "this item's URL is http://www.example.com".
>>> What we need to be able to say is "this item's URI is urn:isbn:
>>> 1592530079".
>> Alf,
>> How do people currently publish such URIs as "urn:isbn:" on the Web?
>> By researching and documenting some real world examples, we'll have
>> a better
>> foundation from which to reason and make suggestions.
> Generally it'll be just "ISBN: 1592530079" in plain text, or an http:
> link to a site that resolves ISBNs such as Amazon (the latter being
> what we're trying to avoid by using ISBNs in the first place).
> Similarly for PubMed identifiers (PMIDs, the URI for which is in the
> form info:pmid/12345678), people will link to PubMed or an OpenURL
> resolver that can handle the URI.

Thanks much for the summary examples.

What would really help move this forward though would be documentation of
*specific* examples (i.e. with URLs pointing to specific examples so
multiple pairs of eyes can analyze the raw real world publishing behavior).
Perhaps start a page on the wiki:


> I'm thinking at the moment that the best way to do this could be
> using an <a> tag with display:none, so that people can't accidentally
> click on the link.

In general I would advise against such display:none encoding of data -- it's
no better than invisible <meta> tags, and invisible metadata is nearly
worthless in practice.

We should document how publishers are already publishing this information
*visibly*, and then from those examples, we can figure out some suggested
markup that works nicely with publishers' existing behaviors.

Note that even in hCard, you can do things like:

<span class="url">http://tantek.com</span>



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