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Revision as of 17:40, 28 December 2005 by Tantek (talk | contribs) ()
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MFO examples

Microformat Object or Microformat Opacity or Microformat Opaque


  • Tantek Çelik

The Problem

Both recent discussions around hAtom, and earlier discussions from June of 2005 have indicated that there may be a need for a generic microformat to indicate that a specific element is a wrapper, container, or layer of abstraction, that should be opaque to something parsing the microformats that may be further up the hierarchy.

E.g. you might put a <span class="vcard mfo"> deep inside a <span class="vevent">, and not want the categories/tags of the hCard accidentally parsed into the hCalendar event.

Note: the use of "mfo" is only for the purpose of illustration is by no means a proposed name for this microformat. We expect research/discussion to reveal a much better name. We use "mfo" only as a temporary name for the sake of discussion and example illustration. We may even want to commit to deliberately using a class name different from "mfo" just to make this clear in the end.

Forward Compatibility for Parsers

Part of the point of this is to help with forward compatibility for parsers.

Thus an hCalendar parser might need not know about hCard (even though in practice they probably will). As the number of microformats grows, the chances that a new microformat may confuse an old parser due to the scenario outlined above increases. Thus we are considering making it explicit when a new "root" microformat is established.

To Do

In order:

  1. fill out the real world examples below
  2. create mfo-formats page for researching/describing how other data formats indicate this kind of "abstraction", including the various terms they use like "object", "container", etc.
  3. create mfo-brainstorming page where we discuss how this should work, and candidate names. Some candidate names that have been offered to date: u, uf, object, container, root, mfo...


Here are some real world examples where folks have encountered the need to explicitly indicate that an embedded microformat does not introduce properties to its container.

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