[uf-discuss] Inline style conflict?

Chris Messina chris.messina at gmail.com
Tue Jan 16 21:57:45 PST 2007

I think there's no definitive answer -- only that "it depends".
Furthermore, you can actually do whatever you like, but the parsers
may or may not pick up content that is hidden from the user's view.

This is clearly an area of some considerable disagreement though I'm
inclined to err on the side of only *expecting* that human visible
microformatted data will ever be treated consistently; hidden data
will be treated as such -- which means you can hope for the best and
simply do a lot of testing.


On 1/16/07, EC <xymox12 at hotmail.com> wrote:
>  Hi,
> Thanks everyone for your input, most interesting.
> Again I am wondering why when the code is an hCard it has been moved in the
> hCalender problematic section? Note: the hCard FAQs are different to the
> hCalender FAQs and do not mention problems using display:none. Do the
> microformat specifications state that the visibility of data is a necessity,
> or is this a usability issue rather than a microformat markup issue?
> I am going to remove in the near future the <img> from the hCard. It was
> initially meant to be an experiment to see how the available microformat
> parsers in Firefox handled the display:none style. I was aware before adding
> the style the implications involved with hiding data with respect to spam,
> SEO etc. I can understand that hiding data in microformats may be unwanted,
> and abused.
> The question is can using valid css markup (eg style="display:none") lead to
> a) invalid microformat markup? or
> b) valid microformat markup that 'may' display different data depending on
> user and/or is 'possibly' undesirable eg spam? If (b) is the case then
> surely this isn't a microformat issue at all but the older issues of
> usability and using CSS responsibly?
> Euan Cameron
>  -----Original Message-----
> From: EC [mailto:xymox12 at hotmail.com]
> Sent: 10 January 2007 12:02
> To: microformats-discuss at microformats.org
> Subject: Inline style conflict?
> Hi there,
> I notice the site Theatre Studies: European Theatre
> (http://www.theatrestudies.llc.ed.ac.uk/) has been placed in the problem
> section of http://microformats.org/wiki/hcalendar-examples-in-wild due to
> the use of inline style (style="display:none") used within an img tag.
> Here is the code in question:
> <span class="vcard">
> <img style="display:none"
> src="http://www.theatrestudies.llc.ed.ac.uk/images/staff/scolvin.jpg"
> alt="Sarah Colvin" class="photo" />
> <span class="honorific-prefix">Professor </span> <span
> style="font-weight:bold" class="fn">Sarah Colvin</span><br />
> Email: <a href="mailto:sarah.colvin at ed.ac.uk"
> class="email">sarah.colvin at ed.ac.uk</a>
> </span>
> I am not sure why this has been done as:
> A) the img is part a hCard and not an hCalender, although both exist on the
> page
> B) using a correctly formatted css inline markup to hide the img from the
> browser renderers cannot, surely, conflict with  microformat semantic
> markup. Having read the brainstorming hCard FAQ I initially used  <span
> style="display:none"></span> around the img tag - however I see no reason in
> this case to add the extra markup around the img tag. ( The is the future
> 'Proposed
> Additions'(http://microformats.org/wiki/hcard-parsing#Use_of_CSS_compute
> d_styles_instead_of_HTML_default_styles) but this is for text formating, as
> far as I can see, so it wouldn't interfere with an img file getting parsed
> correctly.)
> Using the Tails (0.3.6) Firefox add-on correctly parses the microformat
> content on this page including the image.
> Can anyone explain why the inline css style (display:none) cannot co-exist
> (ignoring the benefits of using external style sheets rather than inline
> css) with the microformat semantic markup. I'm probably missing something
> obvious here, so thanks for any advice.
> Cheers
> Euan
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Chris Messina
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