[uf-discuss] Re: Apple Data Detectors

Toby A Inkster mail at tobyinkster.co.uk
Fri Feb 8 04:45:00 PST 2008

Guillaume Lebleu wrote:

> What I have been thinking more and more and what this tells me again is
> that the same way we talk of POSH and microformats, we could talk of
> plain text or plain old english formats, essentially standardizing how
> people write dates, addresses, etc on the Web or on their emails. Asking
> people to write "Tuesday, February 5, 2008" in this order, with the
> commas, etc. is very likely even simpler for normal people than writing
> <abbr class="foo" title="2008-05-02">Tuesday, February 5, 2008</abbr>.

One problem with that is that it will find matches on people who aren't 
even intending to use your plain-old-english format. They may happen to be 
including "Tuesday, February 5, 2008" on their pages with a different 
intended meaning. 2008 could refer to eight minutes past eight PM in 
military time -- unlikely, but possible. And as you move away from dates, 
phone numbers and postcodes which have relatively parseable formats, 
towards locations, people's names and job titles and so on, the likelihood 
of false matches increases.

The use of explicit tags to mark up information do make microformats 
slightly harder to use, yes. But the key is that they also make 
microformats much easier to explicitly not use.

Toby A Inkster BSc (Hons) ARCS
[Geek of HTML/SQL/Perl/PHP/Python/Apache/Linux]
[OS: Linux, up 9 days, 18:55.]

                       The Great IE8 Meta Tag Debacle

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