[uf-discuss] hThing microformat ... or design pattern

James Darling james at abscond.org
Tue Nov 14 05:44:54 PST 2006

I have been having such thoughts, although I had hItem in my mind.
I pretty much had the same justifications in my head as David has  
laid out. I was also thinking I wasn't sure much more base was  
covered by this then hListing and hReview, as selling and reviewing  
are, from what I can think of right now, are the only two things  
you'd do with an item description on the internet.
On the other hand, it does seem nice in my head to mark something as  
an item first, and then add reviews or prices or hcards onto that  
item, linking them together. But maybe it's just a weird desire  
rather than an actually helpful thing.
So this is basically saying I've had the same kind of thoughts, but I  
personally hadn't come to a conclusion about it.
What are other's thoughts? (I have googled, but I would not be  
surprised to be told this has all been discussed before, in which  
case, any links to a justification against?)


On 14 Nov 2006, at 13:27, David Janes wrote:

> I'd like to broach the topic of a "thing" microformat (or design
> pattern). I don't believe this is a "boiling the ocean" type of topic
> and I'll outline what I've been thinking about and how it would be
> used
> (1) This would be a simple container "hthing" with all the elements
> from vCard that would make sense -- fn, url and photo in particular;
> geo and adr also for things that are in a particular place. I.e. this
> proposal is fully based on hCard
> (2) This would be the basis for future "thing" microformats. For
> example, this morning a "wine" microformat was proposed. If there was
> a hThing microformat, there would be a solid basis for just extending
> that with information specific to the wine world; likewise, one could
> see this being of great use for making car microformats or housing
> microformats that would be used with hListing [1].
> (3) This would fit nicely into existing microformats and may even be
> an improvement. For example, in hReview [2] there's an explicit
> container for the people and places being reviewed, but not for
> things. By having such a container, we ensure that attributes of the
> thing being reviewed associate with the thing rather than the review
> (that is, a car being reviewed has 4-wheel drive, not the review has 4
> wheel drive; although this is obvious to us it may not be obvious to a
> machine reader)
> (4) This may just be a design pattern -- that is, a template for
> create new microformats in the future. We do see this pattern in use
> in several places, including the microformats mentioned above.
> However, I would argue that there's a real benefit for today's
> parser's knowing there's a thing there, if if future progress means
> the parser doesn't know what all the attributes are (just the  most
> important ones)
> (5) If it is a microformat, how we identify the type of thing is an
> open question -- we could do it like phone number types in hCard or it
> could be a new class element (or both). The type option is nice
> because it means we can cover a lot of ground without creating new
> microformats.
> (6) There's obviously lots of things that could be added to a hThing
> microformat that are reusable across many types of things (just
> sketching here):
> <span class="hthing">
> <span class="fn">
> <span class="company">Rosemount Estates</a>
> <span class="product">Diamond Label</a>
> <span class="generic">Cabernet Sauvignon</a>
> (<span class="type">wine</span>)
> </span>
> </span>
> <span class="hthing">
> <span class="fn">
> <span class="company">Mazda</a>
> <span class="product">Tribute</a>
> <span class="generic">SUV</a>
> (<span class="type">automobile</span>)
> </span>
> </span>
> Regards, etc...
> David
> [1] http://microformats.org/wiki/hlisting
> [2] http://microformats.org/wiki/hreview
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