[uf-new] Microformats for hidden data

Dan Brickley danbri at danbri.org
Thu Nov 26 03:58:46 PST 2009

On Thu, Nov 26, 2009 at 12:27 PM, Fiann O'Hagan <fianno at jshub.org> wrote:
> Hi everyone,
> A little while ago my colleague Liam posted on this list about the
> jsHub project and our ideas for a microformat to replace the
> proprietary JavaScript currently used for web analytics metadata. He
> got some good feedback, and I can see there's work we need to do.
> Here's the use case we want to address: there is a lot of information
> currently stored in pages which is encoded in vendor-specific
> JavaScript variables.
> Are there any materials currently available about information which is
> not in the visible HTML of the page?
> But there is a wealth of information hidden within the page in <meta>
> tags and in JS blocks.

Interesting questions. My take on microformatism is that a big part of
the value has been in encouraging people to look more closely at the
tags available in HTML, at their existing official meaning and at the
possibilities for using them to carry more specific / tightly defined
data structures. You already highlight the existence of <meta>, and I
guess I'd just draw a stronger contrast between that and proprietary /
random Javascript variables. There's a lot to be said for not having
to run a Javascript interpreter to figure out the basic data
structures encoded in a Web page. So maybe <meta> is worth some more
investigation, rather than just listing it as part of the problem...?



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