[uf-discuss] re: HTML5 support

Philip Jägenstedt philipj at opera.com
Tue Jul 20 03:25:03 PDT 2010

On Tue, 20 Jul 2010 06:05:06 +0200, Angelo Gladding <angelo at gladding.name>  

> Could it be said that microdata intends to do to Microformat syntax
> what HTML5 did to HTML4 syntax rules in the sense that parsing is
> unambiguous and easier to validate normativity?

Yes, more or less. Of course vocabulary-specific rules can only be checked  
by a specialized validator, but checking the actual structure (key-value  
pairs) is something you get "for free". Also, I expect automatic  
validation of date-formats would be appreciated.

> Can an enlightened soul describe in which ways microdata is actually
> superior to profiled poshformats?

Microdata should be compared to the class attributes and the various  
patterns that microformats use, not any specific vocabulary. The main  
benefit is that parsing becomes well-defined and simple. That's why it's  
possible to define a JavaScript API for accessing microdata items on a  
page, which makes the data useful to the page itself, not only external  
scrapers. It also makes it feasible to make browser features like "add to  
address book" or "add to calendar", which really isn't really practical  
with microformats when the data is hidden in class attributes together  
with everything else.

> Might a "humans first, machines second" CJKV internationalization of
> `n` optimization be to analyze the contents of the `fn`'s @lang and
> inner text and use either or both to better determine name order?

The main problem with this is that due to lazy copy-pasting, lang="en" is  
often used even when the language isn't English. Also, in the case of e.g.  
Facebook, lang="en" would be correct for the page itself, but people's  
names aren't in English anyway. The only way to get it right is to ask the  
user both for the full name, given name and family name, something I  
haven't ever seen. The most practical solution is to not guess at all, and  
I don't know of any negative effects of this.

Philip Jägenstedt
Core Developer
Opera Software

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