[uf-new] Microformats for hidden data

Scott Reynen scott at makedatamakesense.com
Thu Nov 26 17:39:40 PST 2009

On Nov 26, 2009, at 2:56 PM, Fiann O'Hagan wrote:

> 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?

I meant the general extension of HTML beyond what makes sense to most  
HTML authors, which is what leads, I suspect, to lower adoption.  Even  
microformats value class pattern starts to look a little like RDFa to  
me, in that the meaning of the markup is not particularly clear to  
someone who only knows HTML semantics.

> 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.

To me that looks like neither microformats nor RDFa.  I think putting  
non-content in HTML as content goes against HTML semantics in a pretty  
basic way that neither RDFa nor microformats allow.

On Nov 26, 2009, at 4:40 PM, Tantek Çelik wrote:

> 2. use the "data-*" attributes in HTML5 which were explicitly created
> to handle the use case of data attributes for scripts/script libraries
> among other things.

The prohibition of using data- attributes for public data seems to be  
a problem with this particular use case, as analytics engines are  
generally independent of the site being tracked and "These attributes  
are not intended for use by software that is independent of the site  
that uses the attributes."


I've never understood why that restriction was added, as it seems to  
have zero benefit, but it's still there.

Personally, I'd take another look at how far you can get with <meta>  
tags.  If the only issue with those is that they refer to the whole  
document, there may be a way around that, e.g. using the scheme  
attribute to identify a section ID.

Scott Reynen

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