[uf-discuss] The BBC case and HTML5 <time>

Henri Sivonen hsivonen at iki.fi
Sun Jun 29 23:55:18 PDT 2008

On Jun 29, 2008, at 15:18, Frances Berriman wrote:

> The BBC can't use HTML5.  It won't validate,

HTML5 validates (in the present tense) at http://html5.validator.nu/

Moreover, if validation causes you to emit user experience-degrading  
markup in violation if the intended language semantics*, validation  
isn't helping but hurting you.

(* Let's be honest: abbr wasn't designed to expand "one hour ago" to  
an ISO date with a crufty "T" separator and time zone designators and  

> it doesn't adhere to their standards and guidelines or

If they are willing to consider amending their guidelines to allow  
RDFa, which is also invalid HTML 4.01/XHTML 1.0/XHTML 1.1, surely they  
*could* choose to amend their own guidelines to allow <time>.

> their browser support levels.

I thought the point was that they don't want the markup for  
microformat datetimes to be UI-sensitive in legacy browsers (or browser 
+AT combinations).

> A core principle of microformats is that they should work with the
> technologies available and in use *now* (HTML5 isn't widely supported
> and isn't even a w3c recommendation yet).

Wouldn't it make sense, though, to specify that <time> be supported as  
an alternative to <abbr> in hCalendar datetimes, so that when the  
community becomes comfortable with publishing HTML5 content, the  
installed base of parsers would already be there?

On Jun 29, 2008, at 20:39, Toby A Inkster wrote:

> See:
> http://microformats.org/wiki/datetime-design-pattern#HTML_5_.3Ctime.3E_Element


On Jun 30, 2008, at 02:11, Benjamin Hawkes-Lewis wrote:

> I'd be wary of using a hybrid of HTML 4.01, RDfa, and HTML5 when  
> neither RDFa nor HTML5 have been finalized yet, and when HTML5 is  
> going to determine how browsers actually parse all text/html. What  
> if HTML5 ends up specifying something in a way that is incompatible  
> with the hybrid?

HTML 5 spec section maturity is very much driven by implementation  
maturity. The microformats community can make the format of the <time>  
element stable by shipping a bazillion interoperable hCalendar parsers  
implementing the way <time> is drafted.

On Jun 30, 2008, at 03:49, Paul Wilkins wrote:

> We are specifically advised by the W3C QA Group that custom DTDs are  
> a bad idea.
> http://www.alistapart.com/articles/customdtds2/

More to the point, DTDs are a bad idea. You can use custom RELAX NG  
without polluting you markup with schema-specific declaration cruft at http://validator.nu/

Henri Sivonen
hsivonen at iki.fi

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