[uf-discuss] ISO Dates and Durations using Style

Martin McEvoy martin at weborganics.co.uk
Sat Sep 27 17:39:05 PDT 2008

Hello Scott

Scott Reynen wrote:
> On [Sep 27], at [ Sep 27] 4:27 , Toby A Inkster wrote:
>>> If any style sheet language can be used, why don't microformats create
>>> their own style language eg:
>>> <span class="bday" style="bday.1968-01-04">4th Jan, 1968</span>
>> By definition, the contents of the style attribute must be in "the 
>> default style sheet language". The default style sheet language is by 
>> definition CSS unless a Content-Style-Type header (either HTTP header 
>> or <meta http-equiv>) is present. There can only be one default style 
>> sheet language per document, thus any document which wants to use a 
>> non-CSS style sheet language in the style attribute cannot use CSS in 
>> the style attribute. (That is, you can't use CSS in some style 
>> attributes and non-CSS on others.)
> That's certainly a reason not to make this a recommendation for 
> everyone, but as we already have two alternative methods (machine data 
> as human data and abbr-design-pattern), I'm not convinced we should 
> discount this idea altogether.  Conflict with CSS is only an issue 
> with inline CSS, which is widely regarded as a poor practice anyway, 
> especially among publishers paying enough attention to have concerns 
> about the abbr-design-pattern.  And it may not even be an issue there, 
> as CSS says user agents "must ignore declarations with invalid 
> values." [1]

Thank you Scott you are absolutely correct

Best Wishes

Martin McEvoy
> I'm afraid we may be dismissing this too hastily.  My initial reaction 
> to this idea was to view it as semantic abuse of the style attribute, 
> but after thinking about it more, I now think it makes a lot of sense 
> that "1968-01-04" should be treated as styling instructions for "4th 
> Jan, 1968."  We already have different kinds of styling instructions 
> in CSS (i.e. visual, aural, and physical).  I'd argue that this is a 
> simply another type of instruction, context-dependent, just as much 
> explaining how the content should be presented, e.g. it should be 
> presented in whatever way ISO 8601 dates are presented in a given 
> context.  There may be good reasons this won't work, but I don't think 
> the fact that no one has previously used @style for anything other 
> than CSS is one of them.  After all, the same was widely true of 
> @class before we started promoting the alternative uses allowed under 
> the HTML spec.
> [1] http://www.w3.org/TR/CSS21/conform.html#conformance
> Peace,
> Scott
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