[uf-discuss] Size considerations

Charles Roper reachme at charlesroper.co.uk
Thu Oct 19 01:06:58 PDT 2006

Andy Mabbett wrote:
>> Is is considered better to have longer, easier-to-read, more
>> descriptive, more semantically correct attribute values over shorter,
>> more concise, bandwidth-saving ones?
> Its not the length, its what you do with it ;-)
> As in all things, it's a matter of balance.

Yes, I agree, absolutely.

>> I would also
>> argue that longer, more readable attributes are more in keeping with
>> the uF goal of being for humans first, machines second.
> But where a short, possibly abbreviated, attribute name is
> human-readable, then surely it's the better choice?

Yes, that's fine as long as the abbreviation isn't too generic. I raised 
the point, as you no doubt know, in response to the Species 
brainstorming on the wiki [1]; specifically this:

Should "bin", var", "cult", etc., be written in full? (I think not, to 
save bloating file sizes)

These abbreviations are absolutely fine within the very narrow domain of 
biological nomenclature and taxonomy, but expanded out into the wider 
domain, then they become horribly generic and lose their meaning. Same 
with using "sci".

> Would I be right in thinking that it's gmail which is breaking your
> sig-sep (the two dashes should be followed by a space, but are not)?

It's Thunderbird that's doing it; it inserts the dashes, but not a 
space. Is a space required, then?

[1] http://microformats.org/wiki/species-brainstorming#Questions

Charles Roper

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