[uf-new] Revisiting grouping problem solution proposal: hset

Manu Sporny msporny at digitalbazaar.com
Thu May 17 10:47:22 PDT 2007

Martin McEvoy wrote:
> On Wed, 2007-05-16 at 14:00 -0400, Manu Sporny wrote:
>>> "using brief, descriptive class names"
>> hset is a brief descriptive class name, isn't it?
> Yes hSet is descriptive 
> my trouble lies in what comes after, you are asking users to invent
> their own class after that ie, hset.whateveralbum.whatever_track, how do
> you know that I won't name my class hset.xtre.wefutr or something
> equally meaningless, you wont know what this means and neither will I,
> what you propose only has meaning to the user, and no simple naming
> convention.

Ahh, I finally understand your point (forgive my thick skull). You are
worried that while 'hset' is brief and descriptive, 'hset.stre.wefutr'
is neither brief, nor descriptive.

I agree with you - only the person authoring the text that comes after
hset knows what the name truly means. Should we assume the worst and
expect people to put in seemingly jumbled text after 'hset'? Or should
we expect them to put in something meaningful?

Why is being able to specify free form hierarchical identification a bad
thing? We don't have a problem with people doing it for the 'id'
attribute. How is this any different? The person viewing the web page
and the Microformats never sees this data. The computer, which is
parsing the semantic data, doesn't care if the text following 'hset'
makes sense or not. Remember, it is okay to give hints to the machine

At the end of the day, what is important is that a semantic relationship
has been defined and the solution works for the grouping problem
description and is compatible with all other Microformats.

> Ok your example says
> hset.foo
> hset.foo.bar
> hset.foo.baz
> my example would be 
> <span class="hset">Foo</span>
> <span class="hset-member">bar</span>
> <span class="hset-member">baz</span>
> hset => foo
> hset-member => bar
> hset-member => baz
> does this say the same thing? 
> I know there is more mark up but it does use simple class names that
> every one can understand

I agree, it does do the same thing. I'd prefer doing something like what
you're suggesting. The only problem that would need to be solved is how
we support sparse grouping with that approach?

> hset.foo.baz 
> looks like a string for a machine, server-side, not client-side
> ie; in Java 
> System.out.println("abc");
> http://java.sun.com/j2se/1.4.2/docs/api/java/lang/String.html

You are exactly right - it is a string for a machine. So are the
contents of the 'title' attribute in the datetime-abbr-pattern:

<span class="dtstart" title="20070312T1700-06">
 March 12, 2007 at 5 PM, Central Standard Time

> but then who am I to judge.

Somebody that cares about this stuff! Without rigorous vetting of these
ideas, Microformats would surely fail - so thank you for making sure
that what we're doing is the right thing to do. The last thing any of us
want is to cause damage to all the hard work that everybody has done to
get us this far.

-- manu

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