[uf-discuss] Develop reusable solutions )was: Precise Expansion Patterns)

Andy Mabbett andy at pigsonthewing.org.uk
Sat Dec 15 02:45:52 PST 2007

In message <9961CE9D-E1D6-43F3-A0E0-6AA82BC3A339 at randomchaos.com>, Scott 
Reynen <Scott at randomchaos.com> writes

>On Dec 14, 2007, at 12:21 PM, Ben Ward wrote:
>> I am going to ask that we better define the problem. That we follow 
>>up the demand for a better pattern (regardless of whether your 
>>personal motivation is following the spec or assistive technology). 
>>I'd like to ask that people stop jumping straight in with ideas for 
>>alternative mark-up, ways of kludging the existing practice into 
>>different elements or attributes. Follow the process. We need to fully 
>>define the problem: We need a list of which microformat properties 
>>_require_ the facility for precise representations. They don't all need it
>I think we should follow Ben's suggestion here.  We've already drifted 
>into discussing solutions that are completely irrelevant to the actual 
>problems we're seeking to solve (last I checked, there were no month- 
>long songs in the hAudio examples).

It's sensible to address the issue of how to express duration - be that 
in seconds or months, or even years - in a way which can be reused in 
any microformat, rather than developing a solution which works (in 
minutes) for one microformat, but may not work (in months, or whatever) 
in another.

This is a principle which, I feel, should apply to any discussion of how 
to represent any other data items also. That way, when we come to create 
another microformat using duration, or whatever, we simply reuse the 
existing solution, rather than having the same debate again; or creating 
a different solution, which will confuse publishers and make automating 
publication and parsing more complex. I'd go so far as to say that this 
should be one of the "microformat principles".

In any case, there are pieces of music that last 1 minute 30 seconds 
(which may be published as 1:30) and others which last one hour and 
thirty minutes (which may also be published as 1:30).

Andy Mabbett

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