[uf-discuss] ISO Dates and Durations using Style

Benjamin Hawkes-Lewis bhawkeslewis at googlemail.com
Sun Sep 28 07:05:16 PDT 2008

Martin McEvoy wrote:
> '-' + vendor identifier + '-' + meaningful name
> http://www.w3.org/TR/CSS21/syndata.html#vendor-keywords
> which leads me to believe that publishers can do something like this...
> <span class="bday" style="-uf-bday:1968-01-04;">4th Jan, 1968</span>
> but I believe that 
> this is a lesser evil than stuffing the values into @title, a machine 
> wont choke on the data it will just ignore it, where as at the moment 
> people do choke on the data because it makes little sense to them,  its 
> in the wrong place.

1. Sticking a hyphen at the beginning of the property name is not all 
there is to it. The CSS 2.1 specification only defines error-handling 
for (unrecognized) vendor-specific properties only work when their names 
and values can be parsed with the CSS core grammar. That might well be 
possible with "1968-01-04"; I haven't tried to evaluate it. Alternately, 
you might need to put it in a quoted string (like with the value of the 
"content" property).

2. Just because the parsing of vendor-specific properties that do match 
the grammar is defined does not make them conforming. I don't think 
requiring microformat users to produce non-conforming, invalid CSS is 
compatible with microformats' selling point of building "upon existing 
and widely adopted standards". I don't think there's _any_ fundamental 
difference in terms of conformance between sticking this data into a 
vendor-specific CSS property and into a HTML custom attribute, and the 
later would be a _lot_ less hacky.

3. The hidden data problem is very hard to solve in HTML 4.01 but I 
think we already have more conforming "hacks" than this (data in class 
name, empty span with title, object data, and hidden input among them).

Benjamin Hawkes-Lewis

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