[uf-discuss] Chat microformat/podcast transcript

Benjamin Carlyle benjamincarlyle at optusnet.com.au
Fri Apr 21 17:29:45 PDT 2006

On Fri, 2006-04-14 at 00:42 -0700, Chris Messina wrote:
> On 4/12/06, Jude Robinson <jude at dotcode.com> wrote:
> > > [2] http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/struct/lists.html#h-10.3,
> > > yeah, i know, it actually says, right there in the
> > > 4.01 spec, that DL's might be used to mark up
> > > dialog, but dialog isn't a definition, is it? i
> > > don't like it. but that's just me.
> > I agree entirely. Think it very odd and reckon <cite> and
> > <q>/<blockquote> more appropriate. Don't understand the dl suggestion at
> > all.
> I disagree, but then I've always been a fan of DLs. The problem that I
> see with only using <q> <cite> and <bq> is that they're ways of
> loosely pairing a speaker and what they've said. I don't know of any
> way to closely couple the two.
> At least with DT and DD there's a clear correlation for the speaker
> with her/his words:
> ...

I'm not sure if this data point has been aired on the microformats list
before, but over the last week I was thinking about google's
"define:<term>" search. It is using the dl-as-dictionary-definition
interpretation? Would using dl more widely for chat be a dilution of
this ability to crawl the web's distributed dictionary?

In fact, the first entry for the first term I looked up (elephant)
didn't use a dl in the source document, nor did several others I chose
at random. A search for IBM did appear to extracted from a <dl>. I'm not
sure of the mechanism being applied. Cany anyone elaborate on how this
is working?

Does the existance of a large number of glossarys, dictionaries, and
encyclopedias indicate the need for a definitions microformat? If so,
does chat need to avoid interacting with it badly?

If definition lists are used in either context it may be important to
describe the kind of definition list as a class, eg:
<dl class="glossary">
	<dd>IBM</dd> <dt>International Business Machines</dt>
<dl class="dictionary">
	<dd>Elephant</dd> <dt>five-toed pachyderm</dt>
<dl class="chat">
	<dd>Jude</dd> <dt>i don't like it. but that's just me.</dt>
	<dd>Chris</dd> <dt>I disagree, but then I've always been a fan of

Alternatively, marking up the <dd> or <dd> elements may be useful:
<dl class="glossary">
	<dd class="abbreviation">IBM</dd> <dt>International Business
	<dd>Elephant</dd> <dt class="dictionary-definition">five-toed


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