[uf-discuss] Human and machine readable data format

Glenn Jones glenn.jones at madgex.com
Tue Jul 1 01:28:24 PDT 2008

As the exchange between Ben and Jeremy has shown what is human readable
is up for debate. Having spent far too much time looking at the ISO date
formats they are all readable to me, but I know that's not the case for
everyone else.

We need to expand the discussion and ask those involved in the
accessibility area what is an acceptable human readable format. The
format 2008-01-25 is a compromise and as such we need to ask the other
party is it's an acceptable middle ground. For example would the BBC
accept 2008-01-25 in the title of a abbr.

For me a good rule of thumb is as a html author would you be happy
writing out the format in the text of a page for your users to read. I
personally would never write 2008-01-05 in a public document.

My main issue with the "value excerption optimization rule" approach
that Jeremy has been talking about, is that it may not work with other
data types

A <abbr class="duration" title="P2D">2 day</abbr> event
<abbr class="geo" title="37.77;-122.41">Northern California</abbr>
<abbr class="tz" title="-07:00">EST</abbr>
<abbr class="rate" title="4">4 out of 5</abbr>

The only way to escape the internationalisation issues is not to use
anything other than numerical and separator chars. Expressing a duration
of "2 weeks and 3 days" in numbers and is still making it human readable
is a challenge!

Could we also say the rate title attribute with a value "4" is "provide
the full or expanded form of the expression"  4 out of 5.

We do need to resolve this issue globally across all content which
requires machine readability.

Although this option looks attractive at first sight, it is still

Glenn Jones



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