[uf-discuss] value-title design pattern

Ben Ward lists at ben-ward.co.uk
Fri Feb 6 12:14:56 PST 2009

Hi Robert,

Thanks for your feedback on the value-title work. It's moving along  
quite nicely.

On 6 Feb 2009, at 03:04, Robert O'Rourke wrote:

> Anyway there was a bit of discussion on strackoverflow and a clever  
> chap called Cristoph suggested using the VAR tag. I'm not entirely  
> clear whether it's semantically valid to use to store a datetime in  
> the title attribute but the spec states it's 'an instance of a  
> variable'. Is that geared towards marking up code rather than an  
> arbritrary variable?
> The thread on stackoverflow is here:
> http://stackoverflow.com/questions/457366/disabling-browser-tooltips-on-links-and-abbrs
> Cristoph's suggestion is at the bottom.

Your guess is correct: <var> is for marking up code, not embedding  
data; here's a lot of computer science bias in HTML4.

One of the key design goals I have with the new pattern is enabling  
choice. Whilst the semantic validity of ABBR use is oft debated, and  
the accessibility issues are proven, there's always been a problem and  
discomfort from forcing use of a particular element onto authors. The  
new pattern is, as mentioned on the test page, mark-up agnostic (you  
can use span, or b, or input, or var, or whatever you like).

As such, you can publish something like Cristoph's pattern if you want  

You would do this, just adding the existing value-excerption pattern  
‘value’ class to the <var>.
  The party is at
   <dfn class="dtstart">10 o'clock on the 10th
   <var class="value">20051010T10:10:10-010</var></dfn>.
Personally, I don't agree with the uses of those elements here.

I should have a followup on the value-excerption work next week, along  
with a draft spec.


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