[uf-discuss] Problem with VoteLinks?
Costello, Roger L.
costello at mitre.org
Thu Jun 7 07:42:40 PDT 2007
There may be a problem with VoteLinks.
REVIEW OF VoteLinks
Here's an example of using the VoteLinks Microformat to express support
for a Web site that sells garlic capsules:
title="I agree with taking garlic to lower cholesterol;
I took garlic capsules for 2 months and
it lowered my cholesterol by 30 points"
Things to note:
A. rev="vote-for" indicates that the VoteLinks Microformat is being
used, and there is favorable support for the resource indicated by href
B. title="I agree with ..." is used to provide a human-readable
commentary (i.e., a rationale) on why the resource is favorably
COW PATH BEING PAVED BY VoteLinks
There are countless examples (cow paths) on the Web of people
expressing support for, or expressing disagreement with something, and
providing the rationale for why they agree or disagree.
There are two aspects to these cow paths:
1. Vote: An indication of agreement/disagreement (or, support/not
2. Rationale: A rationale for why you agree/disagree.
For example, a BLOG comment provides a positive or negative response to
a BLOG article and a rationale for the positive/negative response.
VoteLinks is an attempt to standardize the notion of expressing support
for or against a resource, plus a rationale for the vote.
PROBLEM WITH VoteLinks
As noted above, the rationale for a vote is in the title attribute.
The value of a title attribute is only seen if someone happens to hover
over the link. Effectively, the rationale for the vote is hidden.
But the typical cow path for which VoteLinks is intended to address
does not hide the rationale for a vote. Consider a BLOG comment: the
rationale for the positive or negative comment is openly displayed.
Today's VoteLinks is designed for machines first, humans second. This
is a violation of the Microformat principle, which states: "design for
humans first, machines second" .
The rationale for a vote should be visible to humans.
Perhaps there is a need for a 2.0 version of VoteLinks? Desired
- backward compatible with VoteLinks 1.0
- the rationale for the vote is in the open (visible to humans)
Roger Costello and Andy Gregorowicz
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