[uf-discuss] hReview for Stocks

Tantek Ç elik tantek at cs.stanford.edu
Wed Feb 1 20:14:15 PST 2006

On 2/1/06 7:12 PM, "John Panzer" <jpanzer at aol.net> wrote:

> Tantek Çelik wrote:
>> On 2/1/06 2:27 PM, "John Panzer" <jpanzer at aol.net> wrote:
>>> Would this be acceptable as a structured "fn"?
>>> <a class="item fn" href="..."><abbr title="NYSE:TWX">Time Warner,
>>> Inc.</abbr></a>
>> Well, you could use that markup, but there are several questionable things
>> going on here.
>> ...
>> 2. Both "NYSE" and "TWX" are abbreviations and thus proper use of <abbr>
>> requires that they be *inside* the abbr rather than an attribute. e.g.
>> <abbr title="New York Stock Exchange, Time Warner Inc. common
>> stock">NYSE:TWX</abbr>
> Hm.  I disagree with this, or at least I need a clarification.  I don't
> see a fundamental difference between using <abbr title="NYSE:TWX">Time
> Warner</abbr> and using  <abbr title="20050125">January 25th</abbr>?  [1]
> [1] http://tantek.com/log/2005/01.html#d26t0100

Lots of differences.  For starters:

1. 20050125 is in ISO8601 format, a standard.  NYSE:TWX is not a standard
AFAIK.  If it is, I'd love to see the spec.

2. ISO dates, since they are a standard, are well defined, and are *already*
machine parsable, whereas the stock symbol descriptions you are proposing to
*make* machine parsable.

3. NYSE:TWX (or at least TWX) is what people *do* commonly visibly
publish/write when discussing or referencing a stock.  People use stock
symbols more often than they use the name of the company when referencing a
stock.  The opposite is true for dates.  People rarely use ISO dates when
visibly discussing a datetime.  They much more often use an informal form
like 1/25.

> Specificially, in this particular context, "Time Warner" is the simple,
> human readable, friendly, but possibly ambiguous abbreviation of the
> stock ticker symbol NYSE:TWX.  Just as "January 25th" is the simple,
> human readable, but ambiguous abbreviation of "20050125".

The analogy is certainly quite similar.  Though I think the ambiguity of
whether "Time Warner" refers to the company or to stock (or something else)
is a very different semantic ambiguity than "January 25th", which, though
the year is ambiguous, the fact that it is a date is NOT ambiguous.

> The key distinction here is that I'm not using NYSE or TWX as
> abbreviations for anything in this particular context; together they're
> forming a unique identifier whose constituents happen to map pretty well
> to certain English words. But they don't always; there was a time period
> when "AOL" was the NYSE ticker symbol for the company officially named
> "Time Warner".


> From http://microformats.org/wiki/cite for example:
> Finally, if the format of the data according to the original schema
> is too long and/or not human-friendly, use <abbr> instead of a generic
> structural element, and place the literal data into the 'title'
> attribute (where abbr expansions go), and the more brief and human
> readable equivalent into the element itself.

Actually from "Semantic XHTML Design Principles", but yes.

However, stock symbols are certainly not "too long".

And given that they are used by people when discussing stocks (just check
Yahoo discussion boards for example), and when trading stocks for that
matter, it is arguable whether or not they are human-unfriendly.

I could however see using abbr to remove the name of the
market/trading-floor, since common stock discussions usually omit that
(since it is often implied by the ticker), and only provide the ticker
symbol: e.g. <abbr title="NasdaqNM:MSFT">MSFT</abbr>



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