[uf-discuss] hReview for Stocks

John Panzer jpanzer at aol.net
Wed Feb 1 17:01:03 PST 2006

Ryan King wrote on 2/1/2006, 3:49 PM:

 > On Feb 1, 2006, at 2:27 PM, John Panzer wrote:
 > > ...
 > > 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.

In order to evangelize microformats, it's very useful to be able to tell 
people that they won't have to change their carefully-chosen 
human-readable writing style. Obviously if someone is following an 
unwise writing style, they may not be able to take advantage of all of 
the benefits of microformats, but I don't think we should dictate to 
them that they have to do things a certain way.  Persuade, yes.

 > 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.

Yep, I think this is a question which really doesn't need to be answered 
  for many (most) purposes, actually.  Whatever they're talking about, 
it has a name, some kind of URL, and an associated stock ticker symbol 
that is a non-URL unique identifier.

 > > 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
 > web?

Benjamin Carlyle did some research on the mailing list this month, but 
there didn't really seem to be a lot of useful formal prior art. 
Apparently in most cases people use the ticker symbol string and 
exchange identifier (or country -- apparently exchanges within a country 
guarantee uniqueness of symbols).  For example, NYSE:TWX, or USA:TWX.

For more general company information hCard would seem to work just fine.

Note that we're not trying to fully describe a tradable commodity with 
all of its attributes (that would be a whole other thing); rather, we're 
just trying to uniquely identify such a thing using the ways that humans 
typically do that.

 > >> 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.

Sorry, I wasn't clear.  Sujata was just giving a non-normative example 
of how this might work for human discussion purposes, using an 
abbreviated syntax that is awfully convenient when dealing with XML. 
It's definitely not intended to be something to be consumed by any browser.

...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.

I should have said "hReview" above.  The specific question that came up 
was where exactly those classnames need to be added in order to follow 
the hReview rules.

 > >
 > > ...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.

See Benjamin Carlyle's message per above.  I haven't been able to find 
much myself.  Mostly people appear to use the ticker symbol (alone, no 
I18N there) and perhaps hyperlink to their stock-quote-provider-of-choice.

 > 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 there are really two questions here:

(1) What's the right way for us to review a stock, and (given that we 
have a requirement to identify the ticker symbol) the right way to let 
us add those semantic classnames without breaking the microformat?

(2) Is there any interest in standardizing on the classname(s) used in 
#1 so the result would be useful to other people?

I can easily see us getting an consensus on #1 and a "No" to #2, which 
would be fine.

 > > 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?"

Yep, I think that's what I just asked :).  Though in a more wordy way.

John Panzer
Sr. Technical Manager

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