[uf-discuss] Hcalendar in bbc.co.uk/programmes

Benjamin Hawkes-Lewis bhawkeslewis at googlemail.com
Thu Dec 13 07:19:30 PST 2007

Robert O'Rourke wrote:

> I know it defeats the object semantically speaking but what are the 
> other arguments against putting the machine-readable date/time in the 
> class attribute and do they outweigh the gain in accessibility?
> For example, what's wrong with this:
>     <abbr class="dtstart:2007-12-12T16:03:00Z" title="3 minutes past 
> 4pm, 12th December 2007">
>          16:03
>        </abbr>

Leaving aside the immediate question of whether using class to hide data 
is a good idea:

1. 16:03 isn't an abbreviation for 12 September 2007. That's 
/additional/ information. So that should be a SPAN not an ABBR.

2. Information in TITLE is hard for humans to access (for example, with 
just the keyboard, or on an iPhone). So it's best to keep important 
information, like 12th December 2007, implicit or explicit in the main 

3. If 12th December 2007 is made implicit or explicit, then the TITLE is 
superfluous and distracting:



> Since no solution is ideal with the current HTML flavours people use is 
> there any work being done with regard to the new HTML specs like HTML5? 
> A <DATE> element or data="" attribute for example?

Given that the set of data types is potentially infinite, I'd like to 
see an extensible method for hiding machine-readable data in the next 
version of HTML.

The current HTML5 draft, doesn't have an extensible method, but it does 
include dedicated TIME and METER elements:



Caveat: a flaw doomed to irritate historians, scientists, space opera 
authors, and non-Christians everywhere is that the proposed TIME element 
cannot represent times before 0 AD or after 9999 AD:


The current XHTML2 draft doesn't have an equivalent for TIME and METER, 
but it does have a general way of hiding machine-readable data, using 
the content attribute:


Benjamin Hawkes-Lewis

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