Include fragments [was RE: [uf-discuss] a.include mimetype]

Joe Andrieu joe at
Mon Jul 10 11:06:41 PDT 2006

On 7/10/06, Tantek Çelik <tantek at> wrote:

> <span class="location"><a href="#scandinaviah" class="include" 
> type="text/html-frag">Scandinavia House</a>
> I think this may be another legitimate use of "includes" - to replace 
> abbreviated local content with a more extensive chunk from another 
> location.

This usage is more of an "include" compared to the current usage,
which,arguably, is more like a "repeat" pattern, i.e., this information
already exists elsewhere on this page and I don't want to repeat it, so go
find it with this reference.

"Including" references to fragments on other pages creates the problems
Chris brought up: that the fragment, which may be from some other author and
may be arbitrarily formed or invalid or impermanent.

I have been dealing with this in some small way with the hCitation
microformat, which does not include a mechanism for actually referencing a
specific fragment within an online source. My current approach is to manage
the excerpt myself, but use the hCitation for presenting the source of the
excerpt. In this type of fragment reference, it is not possible to gaurantee
that the fragment is well-formed or even wrapped in a single referenceable
entity, e.g., within an identified DIV element.

Have there been any other discussion or conclusions about how to reference
arbitrary HTML fragments in any microformats? For example, how to delimited
a section of content within a URI?  hCitation is what I have been thinking
about, but it seems to potentially make sense for the include pattern as
well, if we embrace the external reference usage.

Both Xlink[1] and MS' clipboard format[2] resolve this conceptual problem,
sorta, but neither help with the arbitrary external HTML reference.

However, there are a different bunch of inherent problems for parsers and
for impermanent references.  It might be cleaner to require that "include"
in the current usage be sourced on the same page, and create another
reference pattern, "external" (or something) that can incorporate approaches
for the trust/validity/permanance issues.



Joe Andrieu
joe at
+1 (805) 705-8651

More information about the microformats-discuss mailing list