[uf-discuss] citation microformat encodings

C. Hudley chudley at gmail.com
Tue Jan 24 12:29:09 PST 2006

On 1/24/06, brian suda <brian.suda at gmail.com> wrote:
> i have several more issues when it comes to IDENTIFIERS because they can
> be of many types, ISBN, ISSN, URI, etc. most of these can be handled,
> except in instances of some ambiguity. For Example:
> In this case we simply use the node-value of class="x-indentifier"
> <!-- we can determine type by the string length --->
> ISBN: <span class="x-identifier">1234567890X</span>
> In this case it is an 'a' element, so we use the HREF value
> <a href="http://example.org/publications/MSc/"
> class="x-identifier">http://example.org/publications/MSc/</a>
> In this instance it is difficult to determine what is intended, we
> shouldn't use the HREF property, it should be the node-value.
> <a href="http://amazon.com/books/isbn-here/1234567890X"
> class="x-identifier">1234567890X</a>
> There are several ways to fix this, one being adding all the different
> TYPES of identifiers (url, isbn, issn, etc) i would like to avoid this
> because it is an open-ended list of possibilities. The other is to just
> NOT allow non-URL identifiers in an 'a' element, or there might be
> another idea from this list?

A few months back I asked about having a simple class="identifier"
format for just this very reason.


Something like that (or "class='uri'") might be broadly useful in a
number of formats, including citation formats.  It must not have been
clear what I was asking about... what I was asking about is the same
problem you're describing.

Over on gcs-pcs-list this has been discussed as possibly using the
same pattern as described here for side-by-side machine-and-human
rendering, e.g.:

  <span class="uri" title="info:isbn/1234-5678">ISBN: 1234-5678</span>

Also, it might be useful to remember that the scope of objects to be
identified is broader than those for which any obvious http URI/URL is
necessarily available.  Your amazon example, for instance, doesn't
cleanly allow for libraries linking into local copies for the same
item straight from the microcontent instance.  This is a big part of
the reason why the OpenURL-based citation examples posted last week
are compelling to those of us in libraries.

About those:  I would be interested in your (everyone's!) thoughts on
whether those OpenURL-derived examples for book and journal article
citations might be useful.  Given that OpenURL is a "well established,
interoperably implemented standard we can look at which addresses this
problem", I would hope it might draw more interest than it has so far.

C. Hudley
We Know The Truth, Inc.

More information about the microformats-discuss mailing list