[uf-new] title vs. summary (was: Third attempt at hAudio)

Brian Suda brian.suda at gmail.com
Thu Jun 7 14:59:28 PDT 2007

On 6/7/07, Manu Sporny <msporny at digitalbazaar.com> wrote:
> 1. How did TITLE come about?

--- TITLE is part of the vCard spec, and is now part of the hCard spec.

> 2. Who created it and how many people signed off on it?

--- it came along with hCard. I'm not sure what you are implying about
"signed-off" on it. What you are implying is that there is an overall
"gold stamp", which there is not with microformats.

> 3. Did it originate in hCard?

--- it originated with vCard and was taken onboard with hCard.

> 4. How many Microformats existed when TITLE was created?

--- none, hCard was developed before Microformats.org existed. It was
developed along with hCalendar.

> 5. Is there anybody else on the list that thinks that TITLE has a bad
>    semantic definition?

--- The definition of TITLE has been assigned, it is not incorrect.
This is life, as audio moves along i'm sure people will suggest TRACK
as a property, but all the hWine folks might cringe because they might
want "TRACK" to mean a track of land. This is a fact of life that many
english words have multiple meanings. TITLE could mean a job title, a
title or deed to a house, or an honorary title, or book title.
Everyone will fight for it to mean different things.

Whether TITLE was a good or bad choice is not really up for debate, by
changing the semantics we potentially break every page that has an
hCard. This is an expensive practice to deprecate a property, let
alone re-assign it to a new value! There are much simpler ways, which
has been to use a different semantic element which means what you
intend, hence FN or SUMMARY.

> I realize that this is a can of worms that most on here don't want to
> open up - but what do we do when semantics are hijacked by previous
> Microformats?

--- they are not 'hijacked' they are simply different semantics that
you WANT. There is nothing incorrect about the current semantics of

> It seems to me that the proper semantic name for "Job title or
> functional position" should be something like 'position', or
> 'job-title', or 'function'.

--- this might be true, but TITLE is semantically correct as well.
When it comes to other properties such as length of a video, do we
choose 'duration' or 'frames' or 'run-time' or something else... no
matter what you choose it will never please everyone.

> So, because VCARD defined what TITLE was a long time ago, all
> Microformats must follow that definition from now on because of a simple
> copy-paste? The first Microformat to use a term gets to define what it
> means in all other Microformats... forever?

--- there are no namespace in microformats, so when we define a term
it is set for life. This is why we need to take the time to select the
correct terms. Microformats are an on-going process. This is also why
we want to keep things MICRO and not introduce hundreds of new

> I realize that what I am proposing is revising hCard and re-naming
> 'title' to 'function'... in return, we can use 'title' to mean what it
> is defined as in most dictionaries:

what you left out in your dictionary references, is that they also
contain the definition of TITLE as we currently defined it, along with
several others. The dictionary.com reference has 9 results with around
12 definitions for each, you posted 2.

You will find that most of the enteries do have the current definition
of TITLE among them.

> Do you see the point I am trying to make?

--- i do, but i don't see why? what you call FN or SUMMARY or TITLE is
important, but we have assigned semantic values to terms already, this
process is expensive to go back on. Then if you wanted to redefine
TITLE in your manner what is the point of FN or SUMMARY? we now have
duplicate properties which we want to avoid.

Much of the very early work of microformats happened BEFORE
microformats.org existed. Since then we have learned more and more
with each step. Choosing the semantics we did for TITLE might not
please everyone, but this is done now. I don't see the need to change
it since it already works just fine and we have viable alternatives.

I really want to keep this discussion civalized, but to do so we need
to avoid leading questions, use of terms like "hijack" which evoke an
incorrect emotional response which is in no way true, if there is a
comment or question, lets ask it specifically so we can avoid any
confusion. You can always email me offlist and we can discuss it
further, there is also the IRC channel which discussions happen more


brian suda

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