[uf-discuss] hReview feedback

Paul Bryson paul at msn.com
Sun Jan 15 23:01:38 PST 2006

"Paul Bryson" wrote...
> "Ryan King" wrote...
>> Yeah, AFAICT, there's no commonly used format for ranges used on the  web 
>> (or elsewhere, for that matter), so we have little prior art in  terms of 
>> previous formats. However, we still have prior art in terms  of examples 
>> of emergent human behavior on the web.
> On the web, no.  Elsewhere?  Most certainly.  I think staticians would be a 
> little frustrated if they didn't have a common way to share information. 
> Now if that way is useful to us is something entirely different.

I talked this over with some friends of mine, (mathematics PHD candidate, astronomy PHD candidate w/ BS in physics, and a candidate in computer E) and here is what they came up with.

The way to express a number exists in a specific range is:
x ∈ [y,z]

This is the only existing standard that I know of, and it is extremely common in mathematics, so I think it is the only thing that can be pulled from.  The use of the "element of" symbol greatly complicates matters, and should be unnecessary in the context, so I would suggest it be dropped entirely.  

The format I would suggest is:
x [y,z]

So in practice, to represent a rating of 4.3 in a range of 1 to 5 inclusive would be:
"4.3 [1,5]"

With the lower limit dropped as a default value:
"4.3 [5]"

And with the lower and upper limit dropped as default values:

Then placing this in the TITLE attribute would allow the content creator to include the information in a way that isn't immediately visible to the end user, but still available.  To use an example from my earlier email:
<img src="stars-2-0.gif" />
would become
<img src="stars-2-0.gif" class="rating" title="2 [0,5]" />

It should also be easy to write, and for a parser to grab the information from the document, keeping in line with the "enable decentralized development of resources, tools..." goal of microformats.

The only part of Microformats design goals that I'm not sure about is "human readable".  I have personally taken Calculus classes (one recently), so it immediately was clear to me what the idea meant, being something that was oft used there.  But I'm not sure that the average person would make the jump.  

What were people's impressions when they read it?  Did it make sense, or was it too obfuscated?  Is there a better way to simplify it further that would make more sense?


More information about the concept available here:
And the "element of" symbol is 
&isin;  HTML
#8712   decimal
h2208  hex

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