[uf-new] Microformats for hidden data

Fiann O'Hagan fianno at jshub.org
Thu Nov 26 13:56:16 PST 2009

That's interesting Scott. I am not sure I have understood your point
completely, but I'd like to explore it.

> This isn't very accurate.  RDF was not created primarily as a response to
> HTML's limitations, nor microformats as a response to RDF's complexity.

I agree. RDF is not about a limitation of HTML, but it is an attempt
to allow data which is too complex to convey in the meta tag alone.

> I agree, this seems much more in line with RDFa than microformats.  To do
> this in microformats, we'd need to throw out the visible data requirement,
> and re-interpret all of the other guidelines to no longer presume visible
> data.  And after a lot of work, the result would end up looking a lot like
> RDFa.

Why would it end up looking like RDFa? This is the part I don't
understand. RDFa looks like it does because it involves XML
namespaces, namespaced values for XML attributes, and URIs. The markup
indicates relations between items, where the nature of the relation is
defined by resolving a URI.

In contrast, microformats simply use some well known class names. If
we have an element with the class of hproduct, it describes a product.
Inside that, an element with the class of fn is the product name.
There is no URI to dereference to understand what is meant by fn.

So when you say that it would end up looking like RDFa, do you mean in
terms of syntax? Or do you mean in terms of the data being applied as
attributes to elements that are otherwise visible, like the about
attribute being added to a div?

If it's the second one, then I was imaging something much simpler,
which looks like any other microformat, but with some or all of the
content in a CSS display:none region of the page. That to me still
looks like a microformat, not like RDFa.


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