[uf-discuss] An Inconvenient hCard
pmw57 at xtra.co.nz
Mon Mar 12 11:20:58 PST 2007
James Craig wrote:
> Paul Wilkins wrote:
>> With the abbr design pattern, you encode the machine-readable info
>> around the human-readable words.
>> <p class="tel"><abbr class="type" title="fax">Téléc</abbr>: <span
>> class="value">(514) 123-4568</span></p>
>> http://microformats.org/wiki/abbr-design-pattern has more details on
>> the abbre design pattern.
> This is a misuse of abbr at best.
> See: open issue! 2007-01-26
I also see that you are the author of that open issue, and that it's
The abbr design pattern is the currently accepted microformat method in
which to provide machine readable information for human readable content,
as it's defined in the TEL Type Definition at
<abbr class="type" title="pref">my</abbr>
<abbr class="type" title="voice">phone</abbr>, with
<abbr class="type" title="msg">voicemail</abbr>:
While the abbr element isn't being used strictly as it was originally
intended, there are sufficient grounds to continue using it for the
purpose of microformats.
The purpose of the abbr design pattern is formally to
- to make text that is human readable also formally machine readable
So in this case, the "Téléc" is readable to (french) humans, while the
title="fax" is machine readable
<p class="tel"><abbr class="type" title="fax">Téléc</abbr>: <span
The stated situations where the abbr design pattern is to be avoided is
when it's used
- to re-encode human text or to hide data
Which would make the following an incorrect use, as the type is being
hidden from view
<p class="tel"><abbr class="type" title="fax">(514) 123-4568</abbr></p>
I have yet to find a succinct example of re-encoding human text.
Other solutions that have been tempting have been the use of namespaces,
but they have long been considered to be harmful.
So failing that, what else comes even close? The DFN element?
Paul Mark Wilkins
New Zealand Tourism Online
pmw57 at xtra.co.nz <mailto:pmw57 at xtra.co.nz>
109 Tuam Street
+64 3 963 5039
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