[uf-discuss] Human and machine readable data format

Bob Jonkman bjonkman at sobac.com
Wed Jul 2 15:37:05 PDT 2008

>>> 1 Jul 2008 6:28  Scott Reynen <microformats-
discuss at microformats.org>  >>>

>  The difference with ISO dates is we've previously defined them as
> content; I'm suggesting that's a mistaken definition, as these dates
> don't function as content in our reference standard iCalendar. 

I disagree.  In an appointment, the date IS the content.  The metadata 
is the markup that identifies the date and its purpose, eg. 

With an <abbr> the date content is represented in two different ways, 
one as prose ("tomorrow at noon"), and once as an expansion.  In 
prosaic HTML it is valid (and appropriate) to write

  <abbr title="Noon, July 3rd, 2008">tomorrow at noon</abbr>

but that's not a suitable machine readable format.

Microformats have properly used <abbr> to expand prosaic dates, but the 
syntax has been friendly to neither screen readers nor title popups.  
So, the compromise is to have an expansion that's friendly to both 
screen readers and title popups, and is also machine readable.  

Splitting dates and time into separate <abbr> chunks accomplishes most 
of that.

  <abbr title="2008-06-30">tomorrow</abbr> <abbr title="12:00">at 

For those who think this violates the semantic intent of <abbr> I'm all 
in favour of a <span title="2008-07-03"> element.  This can be combined 
nicely with <abbr> for the screen reader and popup crowd:

  <div class="vevent">
   <span class="summary">
     Big blowout lunch party
   <span class="dtstart">
    <span class="value" title="2008-07-03">
     <abbr title="July 3rd, 2008">
    <span class="value" title="12:00">
      at noon

(using the newly proposed date and time value excerpts)

I've put <abbr> inside <span> to speak/display the innermost title 
(this needs testing!)


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Bob Jonkman <bjonkman at sobac.com>         http://sobac.com/sobac/    
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