UK Meetup April 2011

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One of several microformats events.


2011-04-12 from 19:30 to 23:00
Greene Room,
The Cricketers Pub, Black Lion Street, Brighton, BN1 1ND, UK

The meetup is going part social and part workshop to brainstorm the input micorformat ideas. It’s open to everyone who's interested in microformats and semantic mark-up. If you are just want to join us for the social element that's cool the current plan is keep the brainstorming and discussion part to about an hour at the beginning of the evening.

As most people who said they who attended came from the Brighton area, we have organised the event in Brighton, but it would be really nice to see as many people as possible. Brighton is only 50 mins from London by train and 4 leave Brighton every hour until 23:37.


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tags: microformats-meetup microformats brighton uk microformats-meetup-2011-04-12

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Add yourself alphabetically sorted by family name if you plan on attending or attended.


  • Nicholas Tollervey (can't make it all the way to Brighton... I'm north of London) :-(
  • ...


  • ...


Please forgive that fact that I have not noted everyone’s name who took part. The main people contributing were; Aral Balkan, Glenn Jones, Jeremy Keith, Josh Emerson and Tantek Çelik. The session was broken down into 7 small discussions of specific problem areas. I have summarised below.

Using the class attribute and hierarchies

There was full agreement for the use of the className attribute instead of the form field name attribute. The name attribute can only take a single value and does not give enough flexibility to the author of a form as the name maybe dictated by the server side code.

For the current version of microformats, the use of hierarchical structures was agreed upon. The structures will be flattened in version 2 of microformats. In principle, form mark-up should follow the hierarchical structure of the microformat.

Examples used for the discussion:

<fieldset class="adr">
<input class="locality" name="city" type="text" />
<input class="country-name" name="country" type="text" />

<div class="tel">
<input class="value" name="telephone-number" type="text" />
<select class="type" name="telephone-type" multiple="multiple">
<option value="none">Select phone type</option>
<option value="home">Home</option>
<option value="work">Work</option>
<option value="pref">Pref</option>
<option value="fax">Fax</option>
<option value="cell">Mobile</option>
<option value="cell">Pager</option>

Defining types in the className attribute

There is a problem adding ‘type’ information i.e. home, work and pref to inputs that take telephone numbers or email addresses. There are many use cases where the author wants to define a specific ‘type’ of a property, such as a mobile telephone number, to a single input. To accommodate this we somehow have to add the ‘type’ metadata as well as the property name.

In the current version of microformats, most people at the meeting were happy with the type information being added into the className attribute. For version2 of microformts, Tantek suggested adding a prefix of ‘l’ standing for label.

There was some discussion of using the HTML label element to define the microformat property. But it was dropped as we could not think of an authoring use case and it would add complexity.

Tanteks microformats v2 idea:

<input class="p-tel l-cell" name="mobile-number" type="text" />
<input class="p-tel l-fax" name="fax-number" type="text" />

Example used for the discussion:

<input class="tel cell" name="mobile-number" type="text" />
<input class="tel fax" name="fax-number" type="text" />

Repeating microformat properties

This was generally agreed between everyone except Tantek. There are a large number of use cases where we find repeating patterns. These patterns allow a user to add multiples of one item. The most common example in hCard is the URL property. We discussed the use of a “repeatable” class that would cause an auto-fill application to duplicate the whole DOM node and append it as a sibling underneath the original.

The word “repeatable” was preferred over “repeat”. Although there are use cases to back up this type of functionally Tantek thought it broke the layers of abstraction and we could never be a 100% sure it would not damage the layout designed by the author. Tantek rejected this as a possible solution. No agreement/conclusions were reached about this point.

Example used for the discussion:

<div class="tel repeat">
    <label for="tel">telephone</label>
    <input class="value" name="tel" type="text" />

Repeating microformat structures within one form

This item is similar to the previous item and as such everyone took a similar point of view. Jeremy believed that he could see good real world uses for this pattern of mark-up. Again “repeatable” would be a better className. Tantek’s previous objections were carried forward to this pattern.

Example used for the discussion:

<div class="tel repeat">
<label for="tel">telephone</label>
<input class="value" name="tel" type="text" />

Logical operator “or”

There are times where an author may wish to use more than one property if it’s available. If we were to use this pattern the “or” is not required. Tantek pointed out that there is no order to the className attribute and we should not force one artificially to enable this feature.

Example used for the discussion:

<input class="title role or" name="job-title" type="text" />
<input class="extended-address street-address or" name="address1" type="text" />
<input class="extended-address street-address or" name="address2" type="text" />
<input class="extended-address street-address or" name="address3" type="text" />

String concatenation

There are a number of circumstances where concatenating a plural microfromats property into a single string is required. The best example of this is a number of individual tags into a single string.

Jeremy suggested using the multiple attribute or a className multiple. As the multiple attribute can currently only be applied to a file input or a select element we will have to use the word ‘multiple’ in the class attribute. There was some discussion about dropping the formatting instructions.

Example used for the discussion:

<input class="category comma-space-delimited" name="tags" type="text" />

The group’s solution:

<input class="category multiple" name="tags" type="text" />

Additional – Inputs inheriting parent className values

As we talked, it became apparent that it would be useful for a form element to inherit its parent className value. The form field would have to be the only form field of the parent. This type of structure would be required to ease the authoring of the ‘repeatable pattern’.

The group’s solution:

<p class="tel repeatable">
<label for="telephone">Phone: </label>
<input name="telephone" type="text" />

see also

articles and blog posts

Articles and blog posts following up on the meetup. Add a link to your post in the list below. Newest first.

  • ...

planning - idea

It has been a while since we had a microformats meet-up in the UK. The idea is for an event that is part social and part workshop to brainstorm the input micorformat ideas. As Tantek is in the UK between the 11-16 of April this would seem the best time to hold the event.

Please help us by adding your preferences to this page so we can organise the best time and place.

planning - what venue

These are venues we have used in the past, I am not sure if they still have the right layout or atmosphere for a meeting. Please add other venues that you think maybe good for the event. They need to be central and near good transport links?

  • London
    • +1 If we hold the event in central London more people are likly to come along Glenn Jones
    • +1 Possibly more venue choice, also. Phae
  • Brighton
    • +1 Convenient for Glenn, Tantek, Toby, Andy and me. Plus: Brighton's fun! Jeremy
  • The Bricklayers Arms — 31 Gresse Street, London
  • The Yorkshire Grey — 2 Theobald's Road, London
  • Pitcher and Piano — 42 Kingsway, London
  • Brew Wharf Yard — 2 Stoney Street, London
  • The Princess — 76 Paul Street, London
  • The Yorkshire Grey — 29-33 Grays Inn Road, London
    • This is where we had the last vEvent (ages ago). They let us have the upstairs room for free. Phae

planning - what date

Which is the best date for the event?

  • Monday 11 April
  • Tuesday 12 April
  • Wednesday 13 April
    • -1 UX London is on this day
  • Thursdays 14 April
    • -1 Pub Standards is on this night Glenn Jones
    • -1 UX London is on this day
  • Friday 15 April
    • -1 UX London is on this day
  • Saturday 16 April

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