[uf-discuss] Re: Precise Expansion Patterns

Benjamin Hawkes-Lewis bhawkeslewis at googlemail.com
Sun Dec 16 15:21:46 PST 2007

Michael MD wrote:
> I'm a bit concerned that if important machine readable data is completely
> hidden, people will forget to update it when they update the page.
> I thought that is one of the reasons title was chosen in the first place.
> (showing it on hover in many browsers would act as a reminder for authors to
> update it)

There are some drawbacks with using TITLE as a solution to the 
maintenance problem.

1. It turns the author's maintenance problem into everyone else's 
usability problem, and potentially some people's accessibility problem.

2. If people are updating a page and forget to update machine-readable 
data, it hardly seems likely that they would remember to hunt for and 
hover over each bit of data. In fact that seems rather more error-prone 
than just looking for such hidden data in the source.

3. Even if they do check via hovers, human-hostile data is hard for 
humans to read. That means it is also hard for humans to check.

Would it not be a better solution to build tools that display the hidden 
data for all microformats on a page at the click of a single button? 
This would include the following advantages:

1. Only the author would have to deal with it.

2. There's only one button to remember.

3. The hidden data can be revealed in a human-friendly format (e.g. the 
precise date time in the local date time format for that author) or 
flagged as an error if unparseable.

Benjamin Hawkes-Lewis

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