[uf-discuss] SPAN, DIV and Rich Examples

Ben Ward lists at ben-ward.co.uk
Fri Dec 22 08:32:33 PST 2006

’afternoon list,

A little while back I had a discussion with some people (Frances  
Berriman for one) about including a second set of ‘examples’ with the  
microformat specs. Dubbed ‘rich examples’ they would exist on a  
separate page to existing examples and showcase implementations of  
the microformat using varied, adventurous and ‘real world’ HTML mark-up.

At the moment, there is a common misconception that microformat  
classes must be applied to DIVs and SPANs. Some developers are  
resistant to adding these as additional elements to their mark-up.

Of course, the µf specs use SPAN and DIV to remain as ambiguous as  
possible; so as not to seemingly require certain semantic elements  
where any is applicable. It aids legibility and avoid readers  
thinking ‘but that example used a DFN and this one uses a P? What?’.  
Apart from microformats where a specific element _is_ required, of  
course (date-times and ABBR, XOXO, and so on).

So I'd like to propose two things. First, we make a new page for each  
implementable microformat: *-rich-examples. On these pages we create  
and document sets of examples that show microformats integrated into  
all kinds of different HTML structures: Lists, images, paragraphs,  
sidebars, footers and so on.

I think it's important to have them on a separate page as it will  
allow people writing their own examples in the wild to include a  
small link at the base of their piece akin to ‘You can use all kinds  
of mark-up with microformats, see the hCard Rich Examples page for  
all sorts of flexible examples’.

Second, to ensure the mis-interpretation regarding SPAN and DIV is  
thoroughly stubbed out I'd like to have a STRONGly emphasised  
paragraph added to the header of each spec. Effectively a disclaimer  

   ‘As you read the microformat specifications and examples,
   you'll find they  all use SPAN and DIV elements. This is for
   clarity and to help keep the focus on the class names being
   used. However, you should use the most semantic mark-up
   appropriate. To see how flexible microformats can be, see
   the Rich Examples page.’

Better wording of that paragraph would be appreciated!

Is there support for this idea? I'd like to see some consensus before  
making Wiki edits to major spec pages. Plus, the creation of rich- 
examples pages will need collaboration because I don't have enough  
hours to create many by myself.



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