[uf-discuss] re: HTML5 support

Oli Studholme microformats.org at boblet.net
Thu Jul 22 07:20:20 PDT 2010

Hey All,

Wow, this has turned into a really interesting thread. Thank you all
for your input.

I just want to address a couple of points… ;)

On Wed, Jul 21, 2010 at 6:27 PM, Philip Jägenstedt <philipj at opera.com> wrote:
>>> 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.
>> Check out http://ja-jp.facebook.com/people/gong-ye-zhong/100000456401743
>> <html lang=ja>...<div class=vcard>...<a class=fn ... >宮野衆</a>...</div>
>> 宮野 can log in today and, without any cooperation from Facebook, append
>> a U+200B (zero-width space [1]) to his first name (regardless of the
>> input taking the form of one or two boxes), and immediately reap the
>> benefits of such an `n` optimization without negatively affecting UI,
>> sort order, etc.
> I don't speak Japanese, but I think 宮野 is the family name and 衆 is the given
> name. By not doing anything the 'n' optimization will incorrectly guess that
> the family name is 宮野衆 and given name unknown. By inserting a zero-width
> space, it will instead incorrectly guess that 宮野 is the given name and 衆 is
> the family name. Either way it's incorrect.

宮野衆 is the Japanese name Miyano (宮野) Shu (衆) (well, probably — there
may be other readings for 衆). As Philip correctly guesses, Miyano is
the family name, so inserting any form of space character would give
an incorrectly reversed name using implied “n” optimisation.

While Tantek’s suggested workaround of using the declared language
would work on the Japanese Facebook site, the @lang changes based on
location. For example:
has the same content with <html lang="en">

In addition to the points Philip made about @lang often being wrong, a
lot of the time it isn’t even present (well in Japan anyhow). I did a
quick search on a popular Japanese surname (28 mil results in Google),
and only 6 of the first 10 results declared @lang:
As you can guess, it goes downhill from there.
(btw, thanks for your comments Tantek — let me know if you want me to
open the separate issue)

Philip, the implied “n” optimisation doesn’t work on single word
names; they would get implied “nickname” optimisation instead.

On Tue, Jul 20, 2010 at 9:29 PM, Stephen Paul Weber
<singpolyma at singpolyma.net> wrote:
> Microformats data is not "hidden"

In general this is true for microdata too.

> 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.

“hacked-in”? It’s specced on w3.org and includes an API. Also, check
out the CSS 2.1 [attr] selector.

On Wed, Jul 21, 2010 at 4:55 AM, Angelo Gladding <angelo at gladding.name> wrote:
>  However, if optimizations
>  can yield 80%+ positive results when viewed in aggregate I personally give
>  a little bit of magic a big thumbs up.

I’m guessing this wasn’t the metric by which using datetimes in the
abbr design pattern was depreciated

On Tue, Jul 20, 2010 at 2:41 PM, Martin McEvoy <martin at weborganics.co.uk> wrote:
> Im sorry but you cannot express *microformats* in microdata if you do, its
> cute, but It isn't a microformat because microformats *only* use  class
> names, and a few choice rel-values.  If you move a microformat away from
> @class its no longer a microformat and shouldn't be described as such

I’m sorry, but I don’t think this is correct. You’re mixing the
technology with the goal (and forgetting VoteLinks and @profile ;-)

“Designed for humans first and machines second, microformats are a set
of simple, open data formats built upon existing and widely adopted
standards” — Microformats wiki about page

“Microformats are more than simply a technology like CSS or XHTML—they
are an approach to solving the important problem of creating a rich
semantic markup” — Microformats, John Allsopp, p6

peace - oli

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