[uf-new] HTML5 Profile attribute draft in progress

Tantek Çelik tantek at cs.stanford.edu
Fri Feb 19 18:30:10 PST 2010

Greetings microformatters,

Though this is not a new microformat, it is a new foundational feature
that affects processing of microformats and thus I felt it appropriate
to use this list for discussion.

For a while now I've been playing with the idea of how to scope XMDP
so that microformat vocabularies could be locally defined and used in
a document without having to access the head of the document.

To date the most conservative/compatible approach seemed to be to
introduce a "profile" rel value (which I initially proposed ages ago
for XHTML2 while in a previous incarnation of the W3C HTML WG) which
could be used in a section of content with <a href> to link to a
specific profile or profiles for that section of content.  That work
in progress is here:


However, having played with real world examples of doing so, the
rel-profile technique felt clumsy and bit invasive (visible hyperlinks
to profiles) and/or encouraging of poor coding (empty hyperlinks), or
invalid coding (use of a <link> element in content).

The second idea that's been bouncing around in my head for a few years
would be to generalize the profile attribute for all elements. Others
(Toby Inkster, folks in the RDFa community) have had similar thoughts
apparently.  Frankly, I've not thought it worthy of pursuing (because
it would be invalid HTML4/XHTML1) until now.

Recently in the HTML5 world, microdata (syntax & processing) and RDFa
have been published (or will soon be published) as extensions to HTML5
- both of which add attributes to HTML5.

And Julian Reschke contacted me and Manu Sporny requesting our
thoughts on how to proceed regarding the profile attribute (or lack
thereof) in HTML5.

In that discussion (which was mostly about how to have it on IRC and
then having it on IRC #microformats), we explored the possibility of
the publication of another extension to HTML5 - that of adding the
profile attribute to all elements and describing a processing model
for it.


The result is the following draft in progress:


Which Julian recently announced on the public-html list:


This has helped resolve an open issue in HTML5 which is now likely to
permanently drop the head element's profile attribute from the HTML5
core vocabulary/API. Redefining a more useful/usable profile attribute
in an extension seems to me to be the best path forward for the
profile attribute.

Please take a look at the html5-profile draft in progress if topics
like profiles, XMDP, follow-your-nose interest you, and feel free to
raise issues on the issues page:





More information about the microformats-new mailing list