[uf-discuss] re: HTML5 support

Stephen Paul Weber singpolyma at singpolyma.net
Tue Jul 20 05:29:48 PDT 2010

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

Microformats data is not "hidden".  Microformats are just well-done vocabulary specifications using the semantics of HTML.  Is one of thlse semantics @class? Absolutely.  It is by no means a primary or most important one.

One of the benefits of using the real semantics of the page, and not some  hacked-in layer like microdata, is that it works well with existing tools and markup.  CSS styling of microformats, for example, "just works" and I use it all the time.  DOM access similarly works well.

Having written significant code both in-browser and out to parse microformats, I find the claim that parsing them using the DOM is "not practical" shocking.  What would you prefer?  Microformats psrsers are usually very easy to write precisely because they use the page's existing semantics, and thus are easily exposed to the tools used for all DOMscripting (including, but not limited to, selecting elements by class).

Then again, I'm very biased.  Microdata, like other superfluous parts of HTML5 (up there with audio and video tags) just makes me sad.  Too much NIH 

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