[uf-new] Metadata/machine-readable data patterns

Bob Jonkman bjonkman at sobac.com
Fri Mar 14 13:25:43 PST 2008

+1 for <input type="hidden">

Has someone tested this with a screen reader?

I'm surprised that an <input> is valid without being nested inside a 
<form>, but pleasantly so.

This syntax seems no more difficult to parse than <abbr 
title="something"> and using a standards-compliant attribute to 
identify hidden text is far better than keeping visible something that 
is meant only for machines.

And it isn't _really_ hiding anything.  The human-readable equivalent 
text is still very visible, and has exactly the same meaning as the 


>>> 14 Mar 2008 20:50  Nelson Menezes <microformats-
new at microformats.org>  >>>

> On 14/03/2008, Christopher St John <ckstjohn at gmail.com> wrote:
> > I'd read:
> >
> >   http://tantek.com/log/2005/06.html#d03t2359
> That is a good read, and a good point. I concede that you really don't
> want to use hidden data unless there is a good case for it.
> >  then spend a bit of time looking through the mailing list and chat
> >  logs (google with site:microformats.org is helpful)
> I did, but I can't find anything referring specifically to this
> scenario. Apologies if I'm a bit thick! If you know of a specific
> talk/page I'm happy to read it...
> >  Short version: If you gotta hide stuff (like ISO dates), then hide
> >  them very, very close to the visible representation on the page of
> >  the thing you're hiding.
> Agreed. And when there are relevant (i.e. semantically meaningful)
> tags or tag attributes that should be the way to go. If, however,
> there aren't or they cause significant side-effects, I think that
> carefully-thought-through use of <input type="hidden" /> fields could
> be a good option.
> The ISO date seems like one of these scenarios: the usage of the
> <abbr> title attribute makes sense but has practical disadvantages
> that (in my opinion) will actually hinder its adoption. For instance,
> many designers would dislike the idea of non-human-friendly tooltips
> scarring their websites (and so might want to opt out of using the
> microformat). More importantly, there's the well-documented
> accessibility issue with screen readers.
> So I would suggest something like this as the simplest approach for a
> date pattern:
> <span class="date">March 14th<input type="hidden" value="2008-03-14"
> /></span>
> Is it hidden data? Yes, but so is the title attribute in an <abbr>
> tag. This is maybe slightly more "hidden", but I think it's a good
> compromise.
> -- 
> Nelson Menezes
> flying.mushroom at gmail.com
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> microformats-new mailing list
> microformats-new at microformats.org
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