[uf-discuss] Human and machine readable data format
bjonkman at sobac.com
Sat Jul 5 13:15:44 PDT 2008
On 3 Jul 2008 at 9:54, Guillaume Lebleu wrote:
> Bob, assuming that screen readers only read out the content of abbr's
> @title, this solution looks promising (I've tried with VoiceOver, but
> the title content is ignored.)
> The only problem of course is for human content authors who are
> effectively asked to write the same information 3 times in 3 different
> formats (not very DRY)!
Agreed. So, based on Scott Reynen's observation that these 'date
entities' don't need to be displayed (either visually or aurally) I
propose that we dispense with the <abbr> tag altogether (and, IMHO,
the semantic value of the date expansion). We move on, the BBC
publishes hCalendar again, and someone gets around to developing a
genealogy microformat now that the date issue is settled.
> BTW, on the use of abbr for dates, I've researched a number of style
> guides such as . It seems that "2/03/2005" is legitimate as an
> abbreviated form of the inline format "February 3, 2005".
I'm not sure that any particular style guide is authoritative. I had
a look around some other sources, and while they mostly agree
there's enough variation to make any date-parser author shudder in
fear. A most disturbing trend is the use of spelled out dates, eg.
"the sixth of July 2008" .
A humourous aside: I create computer systems validation
documentation for a European consulting firm. Oddly enough, they've
decided on the American date format MM/DD/YY for all their systems
documentation, not the ISO date standard. My documents are
constantly being returned to me for invalid dates -- my first
inclination is to always write the date as YYYY-MM-DD, and
DD/MM/YYYY as a second inclination. Even MM/DD/YYYY gets returned
as an invalid date. Participation in the Microformats community
hasn't helped my professional career :-)
 National Geographic Style Manual: DATES
or http://natgeodatestyle.notlong.com for the word-wrap challenged.
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