[uf-discuss] hReview for Stocks

Ryan King ryan at technorati.com
Wed Feb 1 15:49:48 PST 2006

On Feb 1, 2006, at 2:27 PM, John Panzer wrote:
> ...
> Note that the first line is a title which at least currently doesn't
> allow markup, and the stock ticker symbol is actually nowhere  
> mentioned
> in the body which does allow markup.  So there's a dissonance here
> between what the writer wants to display and what we want to be  
> able to
> automatically extract.

If understand things correctly, you guys have a constraint in your  
application, but I think it'd be unwise to allow the constraint.

> One goal is to ensure that the human readable content is able to  
> remain the same as today.

I'm not sure what the significance of this statement is.

> I think everyone agrees this is a review (right?), but there's a
> question about what's being reviewed (the company or its stock); of
> course this is a blog about stock picks which suggests the latter.


IMHO, given the difficulty in seperating the two (company and stock),  
I doubt we'll ever be able to create One True Way to Review Stocks.  
People confound stocks and companies, though they are not precisely  
the same thing. We may just have to live with that.

> If this were a VC blog it might suggest the former.  In either case,
> though, we'd like to be able to mark up the ticker symbol in some
> semantic way, and that's the primary goal of this query.

Definitely an open question. I think it requires research. How do  
people currently refer to ticker symbols, stocks and companies on the  

>>> Here's what I am suggesting based on the parameters that I have  
>>> been given.
>> Could you provide the parameters that you have been given?
> One issue we're grappling with is that it's difficult for us to get a
> concrete set of requirements which don't amount to 'provide exactly  
> what
> our undocumented proprietary API needs'.  So please bear with us as we
> try to evangelize microformats.

I understand that you're fighting an uphill battle. I commend you for  
even trying. Let us know how we can help, but remember that we need  
to keep microformats more general than a particular solution.

>>> <div class="hreview">
>>> <span class="item ticker" title="TWX"/>
>>> <span class="item exchange" title="NYSE"/>
>>> <span class="item country" title="USA"/>
>>> <span class="item expiration" title="20050518T2300-0700"/>
>> There are a few microformat and hReview fundamentals being  
>> violated here.
>> 1. Visible data.  The ticker symbol, exchange, country should be
>> visible in the text as the reviwer would write them.
> We're not happy about this either.  We may not have a choice to  
> start with.

Ok, so you may not have a choice in your application. Fine, but we do  
have a choice when it comes to specifying a microformat.

>> 2. Use XHTML 1.0 following Appendix C - Compatibility.  Empty <span/>
>> elements are not compatible XHTML 1.0.
> I'm a little confused; it certainly seems to be valid XHTML 1.0 Strict
> according to http://validator.w3.org/check.  Do you mean that it may
> cause problems when served as text/html to some browsers?

If by some browsers you mean WinIE, then yes. Remember, WinIE doesn't  
grok xml at all and does everything in html mode.

> Sure, but when just discussing a microformat I don't think that's  
> relevant, is it?

Yes, it is. Microformats must be renderable in existing browsers.

>> 3. There may only be one "item" per "hreview".  I thought this  
>> would be
>> obvious from the spec, but it apparently isn't, and it should be made
>> explicit.  I have added this as an issue to hreview-issues:
>> http://microformats.org/wiki/hreview-issues
> That's a really good point.  There's only one logical item of course,
> but how to extend hCard to handle additional types of item annotations
> isn't clear from the spec or FAQ.

The general answer is that you can always use additional semantic (or  
not so semantic) classnames.

> Something to add?
> So this is presumably acceptable:
> <a class="item fn" href="...">Time Warner, Inc.</a>
> But doesn't lend itself to automatic parsing of the stock symbol,  
> which
> is a primary goal.  Would this be acceptable as a structured "fn"?
> <a class="item fn" href="..."><abbr title="NYSE:TWX">Time Warner,
> Inc.</abbr></a>
> ...in which case, perhaps what we really need is a new nanoformat:
> <a class="item fn" href="..."><abbr class="ticker"  
> title="NYSE:TWX">Time
> Warner, Inc.</abbr></a>
> ...though semantically I think this is a bit dubious.  Also, it  
> doesn't
> extend very well to additional values/attributes.  Thoughts?

As I mentioned above– unless I missed it, there doesn't appear to be  
any research on how people refer to stocks online.

Unless we have significant research which demonstrates a specific  
behavior here, I would not be inclined to do anything special for  
stocks (beyond a normal product/business review).

> I think Sujata needs to do more research on the "expiration" business.
> It's not at all clear to me if this is something of general use or
> something specific to this one application.  (E.g., one could  
> imagine an
> hReview extension saying that a review should only be considered valid
> for a month, and treated as historical data thereafter.  Not sure how
> widely applicable this is, nor whether this is really the semantics  
> that
> are desired by our customers.)

The standard question applies again: "do people do this already?"

Ryan King
ryan at technorati.com

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