[uf-new] Comments proposals

Martin McEvoy martin at weborganics.co.uk
Mon Nov 17 15:27:25 PST 2008

David Janes wrote:
> On Mon, Nov 17, 2008 at 3:39 PM, Martin McEvoy <martin at weborganics.co.uk> wrote:
>> I am beginning to think that the scope is a little narrow, but I think that
>> (for now) If we (the community) attempt to solve the simplest problem(just a
>> comment),  in a way that everyone can agree on, then that will give us room
>> to expand the scope a little more to include other situations.
> Ignoring the fact that comments occur in groups is contrary to the
> problem statement [1]
> [1] http://microformats.org/wiki/comment-problem
David I dont see how?  by solving the simplest problem, in the simplest 
way has always been a priority when developing  a new  microformat (I 
don't need to tell you that).

I will explain....


How do track the comments you have made on blogs, comments made on blogs 
your interested in and comments other people have made on your own blog?

How can you do this in a way that can be pragmatically represented, then 
ingested into some kind of datastore, searched or aggregated?

Desirable behaviours

    * I post a comment to a blog, and want to monitor responses made to
      my comment - but I don't want to have to visit the website
      regularly to manually check for reponses
    * I want to monitor all comments published to my blog in my newsreader
    * I want to be able to be alerted when someone posts a comment to my
      favourite blog

ALL the above can be solved using hAtom eg:

<div class="hfeed">
    <div class="hentry">
          [the article entry]
    <div class="hentry">
          [first comment]
    <div class="hentry">
          [second comment]

 If the Article and the comments are syndicated as a single feed, say to 
Google reader the user will be able to monitor comments made on article 
they were reading because the "updated" values will change as comments 
are made and will appear in chronological order, the last updated 
comment will be the most recent comment made on that article, the feed 
reader can update the page automatically and notify the user when a new 
comment is made.

I don't believe that the topic(the article), and the discussion(the 
comments) should be separated or be presented in different feeds, 
because some people(like me) subscribe to lots of feeds,  If my feeds 
JUST contained comments after a while I would need to be refreshed about 
what the topic was an have to re-visit the page just to be brought up to 
speed with what is going on, It would be better if I could just go back 
to the first entry in my feed an re-read it again, What is an important 
factor in all this is we shouldn't break the line of conversation, its 
counter intuitive because It makes a user (possibly) subscribe to two 
feed instead of one.

All the above solves the problem of  "a comment" you don't need anything 

The last problem that needs to be resolved is "what if I want to 
subscribe to just comments?", that came up in our recent discussions.

Easy(I would say) just tag the hEntrys in some way to say this is a 
comment, "hentry comment" is the easiest thing to do by far, you could 
even use "item hentry" (which is very "microformaty")  but I think I 
would have a hard time explaining that, you could do "hfeed comments" 
but that has drawbacks, first ALL microformats are Nouns, Singular you 
would have to describe in in some other way like "comment-list" or 
something, also the "hfeed" element in hAtom is optional in fact it 
would be interesting to know how many hAtom authors actually use the 
hfeed element as it makes no difference if you include it or not, 
version 0.2 of hatom could really do with dropping it as it seems 
entirely presentational and confining.

There is a small matter of rel="reply" as it seems to have more uses in 
a more general term, I think there is a good case for rev="reply" for 
all those web pages you see that start off with...

"I read this article on <a rev="reply" 
href="http://somecoolsite.com">cool site</a>  and this is my response...."

...or something along those lines. A rev reply link is ideal in these 
situations and would say that "this page" has a reply to cool 
site(http://somecoolsite.com), any way I am sure there is plenty of 
evidence of behaviour like that  enough for a separate proposal, and 
good discussion about un-grandfathering rev in microformats  ;-)

Thank you.

Martin McEvoy


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