[uf-discuss] W3HTML WG, HTML5, semantics, and so on

Henri Sivonen hsivonen at iki.fi
Sun May 13 03:13:45 PDT 2007

On May 11, 2007, at 3:15 PM, John Allsopp wrote:

> (abbr pattern problems,

Clearly, there's a need for markup for the generic pattern of marking  
up a triple of data presented to humans, the microformat class and a  
normalized easy-to-parse representation of the data. HTML5 <time>  
addresses only one instance of this pattern.

The problem with using <abbr> for this pattern is that title='' is  
intended to be human-readable and the pattern contaminates  
abbreviation data, so with microformats <abbr> is now less useful for  
e.g. non-microformat-aware but abbr-aware screen readers.

The question that needs to be asked is: Will microformat producers  
and consumers be willing to migrate to a replacement of the abbr  
pattern if one is provided or will they continue to use abbr anyway  
for backwards compat?

For example, should HTML 5 define a uf-data='' attribute as a common  
attribute such that the value of this attribute would be considered  
in preference over textContent by microformat consumers? Or should  
HTML 5 just mitigate the damage to the title attribute by defining a  
boolean attribute title-is-uf='' for flagging title='' attributes not  
meant for human consumption?

Is it too late to get rid of this?
<abbr title='uf data'>human data</abbr>

Would this be accepted by the uf community?
<span uf-data='uf data'>human data</span>

If not, would this be backwards-compatible with uf consumers?
<span title='uf data' title-is-uf>human data</span>

> even with ufs no one uses profiles so HTML 5 should get rid of  
> them ...)

We already got rid of profile='' before the W3C adopted the draft.  
There may be some pressure to put it back due to theoretical  
considerations. This is part of the Descriptivist vs. Prescriptivist  
debate. It looks pretty obvious that microformat consumers experience  
more practical benefit when they ignore profile=''.

Henri Sivonen
hsivonen at iki.fi

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