[uf-discuss] human readable date parsing

Patrick H. Lauke redux at splintered.co.uk
Wed May 2 14:58:39 PDT 2007

Paul Wilkins wrote:

> What if the value class was to be used with a hidden class. Then they 
> would serve their purpose, they wouldn't interfere with existing styles 
> and could be interpreted correctly.
> .hidden {display: hidden}
> Then the human-readable and machine-readable can be mashed together. If 
> the screen-reading software honor hidden styles this could be the right 
> path to take.

That would still render the machine-readable part in the clear on 
platforms with incomplete or missing support for CSS, such as some 
current mobile devices. Also, it feels conceptually wrong to have 
machine-readable stuff sprinkled into what should just be content.

Note that, based on current practice adopted by screen readers, only 
TITLE on ABBR is explicitly being given status as "human-readable".

"The content of the ABBR and ACRONYM elements specifies the abbreviated 
expression itself, as it would normally appear in running text. The 
title attribute of these elements may be used to provide the full or 
expanded form of the expression."

So, although the spec tempers this with a "may", it does suggest this 
kind of use by screen readers.

"Values of the title attribute may be rendered by user agents in a 
variety of ways. [...] For example, setting the attribute on a link 
allows user agents (visual and non-visual) to tell users about the 
nature of the linked resource:"

There's a "may" here as well, but the generic definition for title 
(which could then be used on something like a span) seems far more lax 
to me, and in that respect more suited to be plied/bent for microformat 
data use. IMHO, of course.

Patrick H. Lauke
re·dux (adj.): brought back; returned. used postpositively
[latin : re-, re- + dux, leader; see duke.]
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