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

Ryan King ryan at technorati.com
Mon May 14 10:56:04 PDT 2007

On May 13, 2007, at 3:13 AM, Henri Sivonen wrote:
> 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.

I'm not sure it's clear that we need a general mechanism. AFAIK, the  
only real problem is with datetime fields. Everything else seems to  
work pretty well now.

> 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?

There's no way that we'll get 100% of microformat producers to switch  
to the new mechanism, but with advocacy we can get a large number to  
upgrade. If producers switch so will consumers (and I'll put it in  
the test suite, too :D).

> 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?

I don't think so. This fails to solve a specific problem (solves a  
general problem that I'm not sure we need to solve). It also  
encourages hiding data, which is Not a Good Thing(tm).

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

Like I said, we probably won't be able to upgrade 100% of the data in  
the wild, so consumers will still have to support it, but we can  
probably get a lot.

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

Like I said, we should focus on specific problems and solutions, of  
which <time> does a great job of solving the the datetime-in-abbr- 
title issue.

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

Consumers would all have to be updated. So while it's backwards  
compatible with existing content, it isn't future compatible (if you  
started publishing this before consumers were updated, your content  
would not be handled correctly).


More information about the microformats-discuss mailing list