[uf-discuss] Re: Precise Expansion Patterns

Benjamin Hawkes-Lewis bhawkeslewis at googlemail.com
Sun Dec 16 12:32:50 PST 2007

Manu Sporny wrote:

> There are really two questions that we're attempting to answer here:
> 1. Can we make screen readers not read the @title, of whatever element
>    we choose, out loud?
> 2. Do we care that "PT2M23S" will appear if the person browsing hovers
>    their cursor over the text denoting the duration, if that is the only
>    way we can successfully utilize ISO standards in the Microformats
>    community?

I think it's clear that with a bit of testing we can find a markup 
pattern, albeit not necessarily a pretty one, where human-hostile data 
is not read aloud or shown on hover.

It wouldn't make it any less of an abuse of the underlying standard for 
TITLE, however.

Here's another question that needs asking. How much real-world value 
does the use of the ISO standard for date time representations actually 
add in this /particular/ case (hAudio duration)?

 From what I've seen, there are two reasons you would want to hide a 
machine-friendly representation of human-friendly content:

1. The human-friendly content has so many variations, usually 
locale-related, that it would be challenging to write an algorithm to 
parse them all (e.g. datetime formats).

2. The human-friendly content is less precise than a machine-friendly 
format (e.g. "next Wednesday" instead of a precise date time, "London" 
instead of geo coordinates).

In both cases, it would be hard for parsers to produce useful data from 
the human-friendly content.

How often do these reasons apply to hAudio duration?

How many authors who use digits to represent durations do not use Arabic 
numerals, or not use familiar units like seconds? How many do not use 
digits at all, instead employing words like "three minutes and 
twenty-three seconds"? How many provide fuzzy durations like "about 
three minutes"?

The impression I get is that the majority of cases would be served fine by:

<span class="duration"><span class="minutes">2</span>:<span 

We could still think about specifying a TITLE hack for people who do 
need human-friendly content in a form that cannot be expressed in the 
above markup (perhaps if a piece of audio was being described in a 
paragraph rather than the usual tabular or list formats), but I suspect 
the above would be sufficient in most cases, e.g.:


What do we think?

Benjamin Hawkes-Lewis

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