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hNews issues

These are externally raised issues about hNews with broadly varying degrees of merit. Thus some issues are REJECTED for a number of obvious reasons (but still documented here in case they are re-raised), and others contain longer discussions. Some issues may be ACCEPTED and perhaps cause changes or improved explanations in the draft.

IMPORTANT: Please read the hNews FAQ before giving any feedback or raising any issues as your feedback/issues may already be resolved/answered.

Submitted issues may (and probably will) be edited and rewritten for better terseness, clarity, calmness, rationality, and as neutral a point of view as possible. Write your issues well. — Tantek

Please add new issues to the top of the list. Please follow-up to resolved/rejected issues with new information rather than resubmitting such issues. Duplicate issue additions will be reverted.

See related hAtom issues and hCard issues.


Consider using this format (copy and paste this to the end of the list to add your issues; replace ~~~ with an external link if preferred) to report issues or feedback, so that issues can show up in hAtom subscriptions of this issues page. If open issues lack this markup, please add it.

Please post one issue per entry, to make them easier to manage. Avoid combining multiple issues into single reports, as this can confuse or muddle feedback, and puts a burden of separating the discrete issues onto someone else who 1. may not have the time, and 2. may not understand the issue in the same way as the original reporter.

<div class="hentry">
<span class="entry-summary author vcard">
 <span class="published">2011-MM-DD</span> 
 raised by <span class="fn">~~~</span>
<div class="entry-content discussion issues">
* <strong class="entry-title">«Short title of issue»</strong>. «Description of Issue»
** Follow-up comment #1
** Follow-up comment #2


Open Issues

open issue! 2009-11-16 raised by Guthrie Collin

  • Allowable number of item-licenses?. In the news world, different news companies sometimes share the copyright on specific works, and this arrangement results in two copyright statements appearing for one piece of content. Modeling this relationship in the hNews world would result in two or more "item-license" elements, with each item-license element potentially linking to a separate license for each news company. Hence, I think the hNews format should explicitly allow more than one item-license for each "hnews hentry" container. Thoughts?

open issue! 2009-10-20 raised by Miles De Feyter

  • News, Commentary, and Opinion pieces as they relate to hNews. An interesting comment came up today when looking at how to use hNews on other AOL properties outside of our main news site, and that is, some of our sites are both news and commentary. Let's take our sports site for example

This site reports on sports news with article headlines such as: Big Ben tops pass rankings

But also has some obvious opinion pieces such as: Fail to the Redskins: Worst-Run Franchise on the Planet

Currently we have one publishing system for all of our content within Fanhouse whether it be feed driven, in house publisher, news content, or commentary. So at the moment if one thing gets hNews it all does.

Have you given this situation thought? My initial thinking is that perhaps this is where a principles statement specific to Fanhouse could account for the different types of content being labeled hNews.

    • Very glad you brought this up. We've given this alot of thought. I think your initial thinking is right. Right now the place to distinguish differences such as these (e.g. reporting from opinion) is within the principles statement. But this is something I think would benefit significantly from further development (i.e. the development of additional hNews criteria) Martin Moore

open issue! 2009-10-14 raised by MarkNg

  • adr for dateline. From Andy Mabbett on Twitter : hNews microformat spec "dateline. optional. Using text or hCard" should read "dateline. optional. Using text, adr or hCard".
    • Seems like a useful extra to me, any objections ? MarkNg
    • Agreed, makes sense. --JonathanMalek 00:57, 15 October 2009 (UTC)
    • +1 to addition of optional "adr" markup of "dateline", but should also allow "geo" markup of "dateline" as well. i.e. change:

      * a dateline element MAY be encoded in an hCard.


      * a dateline element MAY be encoded with an adr, Geo, or hCard 1.0 on the same element.

      Tantek 19:57, 15 October 2009 (UTC)

Resolved Issues

resolved issue 2009-10-15 raised by TobyInk

  • XMDP defines 'principles' incorrectly. The XMDP for hNews defines 'principles' as a class, whereas the rest of the draft refers to it as a link type (i.e. 'rel' value).
    • ACCEPTED SPEC UPDATE. FIXED: thanks for pointing that out. I believe the updated profile reflects that correctly now. --JonathanMalek 15:37, 15 October 2009 (UTC)

resolved issue 2009-11-13 raised by Guthrie Collin

  • The item-license element is incorrectly described as a class. The XMDP profile and element description for item-license in hNews describes the element as a class attribute value, however, the Licensing Brainstorming proposal describes this field as a link type. In addition, the hNews examples purport item-license as a link type. Which item-license description is correct?
    • ACCEPTED SPEC UPDATE. FIXED: the correct description is as a link (rel). The profile has been updated to reflect that correctly. --JonathanMalek 18:44, 13 November 2009 (UTC)

Closed Issues

closed issue 2009-10-09 raised by Miles De Feyter

  • Implementation of item-license as it relates to hNews. Reading through the item-license brainstorm it seems to indicate that "item-license" would need to be nested within something with the class of "item". So as this relates to hNews is the suggestion to then have an articles containing div have the three class names of "hnews hentry item"?
    • At this point, Miles, that is correct (following the Licensing Brainstorming concept and guidance). I expect we'll see changes around item-license (it's still just brainstorming), but for the time being, the third class name "item" is needed. --JonathanMalek 16:25, 12 October 2009 (UTC)
    • Added to hnews-faq --JonathanMalek 02:19, 14 October 2009 (UTC)

closed issue 2009-09-28 raised by Miles De Feyter

  • Principles as a requirement. Working for a publishing company that owns and operates a large number of different organizations I'd love to incorporate hNews within our publishing system. The hNews requirement for a principles statement could pose a problem though or at least make rolling out hNews a more involved process then it would be otherwise. The issue is, I would now have to go to each product owner and ask then to provide this principles statement to link to. So my concern is now rather then just making a change to the publishing system to support hNews there is this requirement for some supporting content. And due to the nature of the content I can only assume our legal dep. would need to sign off as well, further complicating the adoption of hNews.
    • +1 I agree that the "principles" property (and probably all other others) should be optional. Tantek 18:29, 29 September 2009 (UTC)
      • I think it's important to explain why principles is a requirement. hnews is essentially a specialization of hAtom. Its purpose is to distinguish news on the web. Hence the description of source organisation, license and principles. Of these, principles is the only one which consistently distinguishes news on the web from other content (eg. commercial, government). In the future it should be distinguished further by making the principles themselves machine readable (but that is for a later date). Most professional news organisations adhere to a Statement of Principles (e.g. see and If a site wants to mark up its content but does not want to distinguish it as news, then wouldn't it be easiest to use hAtom? Martin Moore 9:00, 20 September 2009 (UTC)
      • Having discussed this issue at length outside this brainstorming, we understand some of the concerns of the microformat community regarding 'must', but are still convinced of the criticality of principles to hNews - therefore recommend downgrading from 'must' to 'should'. Martin Moore 14:00, 7 October 2009 (UTC)
        • Accepted and implemented in 0.1. In keeping with the general direction here, we've changed item-license as well, and would consider adopting the same with source-org as well, if it proves to present the same problems. --JonathanMalek 00:53, 15 October 2009 (UTC)

closed issue 18:32, 24 August 2009 (UTC) raised by Kevin Marks

  • hCalendar instead of dateline? Would an hCalendar 1.0 event (which can contain an hCard location) make sense for a dateline, or is the 'date' part more often omitted?
    • Confusingly, the journalistic term "dateline" isn't anything to do with a date or time. It is the location from which a report is filed and is generally the main location associated with a story. Generally, a dateline consists of a city (e.g. "Rome") but could be the name of a ship at sea or even a space station. Stuart Myles 21:12, 24 August 2009 (UTC)

closed issue 18:32, 24 August 2009 (UTC) raised by Kevin Marks

  • hCard instead of geo? Is geo really in use here, or would using an hCard (that can contain geo) be a better way of representing locations referred to in the story, as more human readable?
    • The reason for geo being highlighted (as an optional field) is to promote at least one location identifier in the story--preferably the most appropriate single location on a map for that particular story. Geo does not have to be related to dateline, but in some examples we've worked on, we show the two collapsed into a single field. --JonathanMalek 23:53, 24 August 2009 (UTC)
    • For locations referred to in the story, I agree--publishers should be using hCard 1.0 with the contained geo to markup the locations themselves. One of the concepts I've struggled with is drawing an admittedly arbitrary line between the metadata about a story from the metadata within a story. For the former, we've focused on simplicity and minimalism, primarily as a means to encourage adoption. That has meant preferring rel="tag" over in-line entity extraction and markup using compound microformats. For the latter, we feel that the field is open: use whatever microformat fits your purpose, however you can--the more, the better. This lets publishers with minimal technology capabilities at least get started by tweaking a few templates in their CMS, while those more technically inclined aren't limited by the simplicity of the format to a paucity of data. --JonathanMalek 23:53, 24 August 2009 (UTC)
    • Also, dateline can be text or hCard 1.0, as noted in the Common News Fields section. --JonathanMalek 18:17, 24 September 2009 (UTC)

closed issue 18:32, 24 August 2009 (UTC) raised by Kevin Marks

  • What is item-license? Using rel="license" presumably?
    • We're working off the Licensing Brainstorming discussions for this. Our concern with rel="license" was its definition as applying to an entire page, rather than an item within a page. The current discussions around licensing definitely address that. --JonathanMalek 00:02, 25 August 2009 (UTC)
      • +1 using item-license for news-brainstorming makes sense. Tantek 22:32, 27 August 2009 (UTC)