Value Excerption Pattern: special parsing 'value' in date-time properties

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This page is targetted at those already experienced with microformats.

Just like the value-excerption-value-title-test page:

Please carefully note, this page is about a pre-draft, experimental and unfinished microformats proposal. You cannot use this pattern on your live pages, it is not supported by any stable parser and you should not assume that this pattern will be finalized as-is! We're just asking for help in testing this thoroughly. Thank you.

Contents

This is a special page to introduce and gather results to widespread testing of a proposed extension to the value-excerption pattern. See value excerption pattern brainstorming: date and time separation for the specific proposal.

This pattern can be used to resolve some long standing issues with including machine-data in microformats; it's imperative we test thoroughly before adding it to any pattern specification. Following are a number of example tests. Please try them out.

The pattern we're testing looks a little something like this. Those experienced with microformats should immediately see what we're trying to do.

For broadly internationally readable dates and times:

<p class='dtstart'>On 
  <span class='value'>2009-01-06</span>, at 
  <span class='value'>22:54</span> in the evening.
</p>

For American English-specific localized date times:

<p class='dtstart'>On 
  <abbr class='value' title='2009-01-06'>1/6</abbr>, in 
  <abbr class='value' title='22:54'>the evening</abbr>
</p>

It allows you to include machine-form date and time data alongside the human form equivalents, without polluting visible formatted content with the harder to read/understand fully expanded ISO8601 datetime, and also with bringing the ISO8601 date equivalent and ISO8601 time equivalents closer to the localized language specific versions.

Alternatively the date and time separation pattern also enables the use of internationally human readable ISO8601 dates and ISO8601 times, which encourages the data to be fully visible (better than semi-visible). Note that in this case an explicit timezone is often omitted, because it's typically left out of the original human visible data. Introducing an explicit ISO8601 timezone may make the content less readable, although there may be ways of including the the timezone that do not hinder usability.

This covers only cases where a microformat property takes a date-time fixed format of data that is may be challenging for visible inclusion in a page (such as a full date-time and timezone string).

This pattern is based on being able to deterministically parse date vs time values differently and compositing the different pieces of a full date-time value into a single ISO8601 datetime. This allows separately marking up the date and the time (which reflects common publishing practice of separating those two pieces of content in their context), and therefore reducing the DRY violation impact (by keeping the duplicate alternates closer), and providing more readable/understandable alternates as well. The semi-visibility advantage of being able to verify date or time alternate values via tooltip is enhanced by the greater readability/understandability of the individual components over full ISO8601 datetime.

Based on everything we know up to this point, we believe this pattern will work. But, it's wide ranging and the web is broad, and we want to be sure. Please, help us out testing this pattern proposal. Examples tests are below, please push them or your own variants into publishing systems, content management systems, editor applications and tools. Check that it comes out the other side with the data intact, and exposed (or hidden) as expected: Render it in desktop browsers, mobile browers, screen readers, in braille… anything you can test, we want to know about! We need to see any quirks, oddities and so on.

Also, by all means provide thoughts on the publishing flow for this.

Note that valid HTML is a cornerstone of microformats. Inventing new attributes, depending on unstable drafts of HTML5, using non-standard DOCTYPEs or XML extensions is not an applicable option. We're trying to achieve something as gracefully as we can within the limitations of HTML4, and without harming user experience.

The proposed parsing rules

The current, likely incomplete, parsing rules and restrictions for this pattern are as follows:

Example Tests

The following snippets are example tests for the new pattern. You can use them as is, or use them as a base for your own tests with your own content. If you write your own tests, please document them under ‘additional test cases’ so that any failing tests can be checked for validity.

hAtom#1: An hAtom published/updated Property

hAtom variant 1a

Broadly internationally readable:

<!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.01//EN"
    "http://www.w3.org/TR/html4/strict.dtd">
<html lang="en">
    <head>
        <title>Value Excerption DT Separation Test hAtom#1a</title>
    </head>
    <body>
        <div class="hentry">
            <h1 class="entry-title">An introduction to Microformats</h1>
            <p>
                Published on <span class="published updated">
                 <span class="value">2009-01-09</span> at
                 <span class="value">11:33</span>
                </span>
                by <span class="author vcard">
                  <a class="url fn" href="http://example.com">
                      Joe Blogger</a></span>.
            </p>
            <p class="entry-content">Wow, microformats are really useful! You can
                learn loads about them on the 
                <a href="http://microformats.org/wiki">microformats wiki</a>.
            </p>
        </div>
    </body>
</html>

hAtom variant 1b

American English-specific localized:

<!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.01//EN"
    "http://www.w3.org/TR/html4/strict.dtd">
<html lang="en">
    <head>
        <title>Value Excerption DT Separation Test hAtom#1b</title>
    </head>
    <body>
        <div class="hentry">
            <h1 class="entry-title">An introduction to Microformats</h1>
            <p>
                Published on <span class="published updated">
                 <abbr class="value" title="2009-01-09">1/9</abbr>,
                 <abbr class="value" title="11:33:00-0800">around lunchtime</abbr>
                </span>
                by <span class="author vcard">
                  <a class="url fn" href="http://example.com">
                      Joe Blogger</a></span>.
            </p>
            <p class="entry-content">Wow, microformats are really useful! You can
                learn loads about them on the 
                <a href="http://microformats.org/wiki">microformats wiki</a>.
            </p>
        </div>
    </body>
</html>


hCal#1: An hCalendar dtstart

hCal variant 1a

Broadly internationally readable:

<!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.01//EN"
    "http://www.w3.org/TR/html4/strict.dtd">
<html lang="en">
    <head>
        <title> Value Excerption DT Separation Test hCal#1a</title>
    </head>
    <body>
        <div class="vevent">
            <h1 class="summary">Value Exception Test Day!</h1>
            <p class="description">Come help <span class="organizer vcard">
                <a class="fn url org" href="http://microformats.org">microformats.org</a>
                </span> test a new value-excerption pattern for sanity and 
                robustness!
            </p>
            <p>Help out by running some tests at 
              <span class="dtstart">
                <span class="value">12:00</span>
                on Monday 
                <span class="value">2009-01-12</span>.
               </span>
            </p>
            <p>See <a class="url" href="http://microformats.org/wiki/value-excerption-dt-separation-test">the
                wiki</a> for more details!
            </p>
        </div>
    </body>
</html>

hCal variant 1b

American English-specific localized:

<!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.01//EN"
    "http://www.w3.org/TR/html4/strict.dtd">
<html lang="en">
    <head>
        <title> Value Excerption DT Separation Test hCal#1b</title>
    </head>
    <body>
        <div class="vevent">
            <h1 class="summary">Value Exception Test Day!</h1>
            <p class="description">Come help <span class="organizer vcard">
                <a class="fn url org" href="http://microformats.org">microformats.org</a>
                </span> test a new value-excerption pattern for sanity and 
                robustness!
            </p>
            <p>Help out by running some tests at 
              <span class="dtstart">
                <abbr class="value" title="12:00">noon</abbr>
                on
                <abbr class="value" title="2009-01-12">Monday 1/12</abbr>.
               </span>
            </p>
            <p>See <a class="url" href="http://microformats.org/wiki/value-excerption-dt-separation-test">the
                wiki</a> for more details!
            </p>
        </div>
    </body>
</html>

hCard#1: An hCard bday

hCard variant 1a

Broadly internationally readable:

<!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.01//EN"
    "http://www.w3.org/TR/html4/strict.dtd">
<html lang="en">
    <head>
        <title> Value Excerption DT Separation Test hCard#1a</title>
    </head>
    <body>
        <!-- Behind Test -->
        <div class="vcard">
            <h1 class="fn">Ben Ward</h1>
            <p>Ben Ward's birthday is 
                <span class="bday">
                   <span class="value">1984-02-09</span> <!-- strictly unnecessary, but added for test purposes -->
                </span>
                You should throw him a party!
            </p>
        </div>
        <!-- End Test -->
    </body>
</html>

hCard variant 1b

American English-specific localized:

<!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.01//EN"
    "http://www.w3.org/TR/html4/strict.dtd">
<html lang="en">
    <head>
        <title> Value Excerption DT Separation Test hCard#1b</title>
    </head>
    <body>
        <!-- Behind Test -->
        <div class="vcard">
            <h1 class="fn">Ben Ward</h1>
            <p>Ben Ward's birthday is 
                <span class="bday">
                   <abbr class="value" title="1984-02-09">2/9</abbr>.
                </span>
                You should throw him a party!
            </p>
        </div>
        <!-- End Test -->
    </body>
</html>

If you believe there is an error in any of these tests, or in any others that people contribute, please post on the mailing list.

Evil Tests

If you want to give existing microformat parsers a good run out, construct ‘evil’ tests using nesting, combination and interpolation of different microformats.

hAtom + hCalendar

hAtom hCal variant 1a

Broadly internationally readable:

<!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.01//EN"
    "http://www.w3.org/TR/html4/strict.dtd">
<html lang="en">
    <head>
        <title> Value Excerption DT Separation Test hAtomhCalEvil#1a</title>
    </head>
    <body>
        <div class="hentry vevent">
            <h1 class="entry-title summary">An introduction to Microformats</h1>
            <p>
                Published on <span class="published updated">
                 <span class="value">2009-01-09</span> at
                 <span class="value">11:33</span>
                </span>
                by <span class="author organizer vcard">
                  <a class="url fn" href="http://example.com">
                      Joe Blogger</a></span>.
            </p>
            <p class="entry-content description">
                <span class="dtstart">
                    <span class="value">2009-01-14</span>
                    at
                    <span class="value">19:00</span>
                </span> is not the date of a completely fictional microformats
                event. If it existed, it would promise to be informative and get
                you up to speed on microformats.org for 2009! Now you've 
                learned to work with microformats a little, why not attend and
                get involved! Why not? Because this event is a test case, not 
                for real.
            </p>
        </div>
    </body>
</html>

hAtom hCal variant 1b

American English-specific localized:

<!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.01//EN"
    "http://www.w3.org/TR/html4/strict.dtd">
<html lang="en">
    <head>
        <title>Value Excerption DT Separation Test hAtomhCalEvil#1b</title>
    </head>
    <body>
        <div class="hentry vevent">
            <h1 class="entry-title summary">An introduction to Microformats</h1>
            <p>
                Published on <span class="published updated">
                 <abbr class="value" title="2009-01-09">1/11</abbr>,
                 <abbr class="value" title="11:33:00-0800">just before noon</abbr>
                </span>
                by <span class="author organizer vcard">
                  <a class="url fn" href="http://example.com">
                      Joe Blogger</a></span>.
            </p>
            <p class="entry-content description">
                <span class="dtstart">
                    <abbr class="value" title="2009-01-14">1/14</abbr>
                    at
                    <abbr class="value" title="19:00">7pm</abbr>
                </span> is not the date of a completely fictional microformats
                event. If it existed, it would promise to be informative and get
                you up to speed on microformats.org for 2009! Now you've 
                learned to work with microformats a little, why not attend and
                get involved! Why not? Because this event is a test case, not 
                for real.
            </p>
        </div>
    </body>
</html>

Response

Misplaced responses will be moved, and having to do so will make Tantek (and possibly Ben) growly, so, y'know, please try to keep the wiki tidy.

Please Also Try

Please also try the value-excerption-value-title-test. This is not either or. Ideally both will work and can be carried forward.

Successful Tests

List successfully tested environments here. Add new environments as new list items, and expand existing list items with your name and platform variants to indicate verified successes.

Results of tests across various publishing/rendering environments
Product P/C? Platforms Test By Notes
MediaWiki/Linux Publishing Safari 3.2.1 (Mac OSX 10.5)
Safari 2.0.4 Consuming Mac OSX 10.5
Safari 3.2.1 Consuming Mac OSX 10.5,
Firefox 2.0 Consuming Mac OSX 10.5
Firefox 3.0 Consuming Mac OSX 10.5,
Firefox 3.1ß1 Consuming Mac OSX 10.5,
Opera 9.62 Consuming Mac OSX 10.5,
Internet Explorer 5.2 Consuming Mac OSX 10.5,
Internet Explorer 6.0 Consuming Windows XP (SP3)
Internet Explorer 7.0 Consuming Windows XP (SP3)
Internet Explorer 8.0 beta 2 Consuming Windows XP (SP3)

Failed Tests

For failures, please provide as much information as you can. The precise impact of the error, whether the behavior could be regarded as a bug in the software you're testing, whether it works in subsequent releases, whether you changed any settings in the software to produce the result, and if so, whether enabling/disabling that setting should be regarded a showstopper if this pattern were certified.

Since we want more detail, please expand failures into headed sections rather than cramming into a table.

For example, take this entirely plausible scenario as a template:

Example: Fake Publisher 3.1ß

Platform
Windows Vista
Test By
User:BenWard
Description
When trying to enter an abbr in my HTML editor, which I wrote myself whilst I was high, the application immediately crashes, performs rm -rf / on all UNIX boxes connected to my local network (which also appears to cause Android phones within Bluetooth range to do the same…), and then causes all attached peripherals to combust. I was not able to reproduce, as my house was now on fire.
Notes
This is a beta release, and a bug has been filed.
This product has a known history of flammability bugs.
The user must explicitly enable the ‘Endanger My Life’ checkbox under the ‘Advanced Mislabelled Checkboxes’ tab of the ‘Complicated Preferences’ preferences pane.
You get the idea.


General Test Feedback

  • Any general feedback you have on this test is most welcome. However, if you have issues with the pattern or alternate suggestions, please file them on the main value-excerption-pattern-issues page. Also, please remember to sign your comments with —~~~~ —BenWard 00:12, 9 January 2009 (UTC)

Rejected Variants

Consider moving this to a separate page. Some variants of date and time separation have been analyzed and rejected for the moment. They are documented here for completeness sake, and to avoid repeating the same analysis (except for confirmation).

date time separation with value title

It is possible to combine date and time separation with with the value-excerption-value-title-test technique. Using the initial illustrative example of date and time separation, here is a version that also uses an extension of the value-title proposal:

<p class='dtstart'>On 
  <span class='value-title' title='2009-01-06'> </span>1/6, in 
  <span class='value-title' title='22:54'> </span>the evening
</p>

Special parsing rules could also be applied to value-title as well; whatever makes most sense to your publishing scenario.

problems

"value-title" was designed to be limited and conservative. Combining value-title with date and time separation results in some problems:

  1. The combination requires value-title to be extended to be able to be used in more than one instance on a property element. This violates the deliberate design of limiting its use.
  2. The examples requires using it as not just the first child inside the property that it applies to.
  3. Splitting the two date and time into two invisible elements may be worse in terms of data robustness than keeping it in just one invisible element. Twice as many places to go wrong accidentally.

For completeness, here are the tests that were being considered, which additionally illustrate the above-mentioned problems.

hAtom variant 1c

Combining with value-excerption-value-title-test:

<!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.01//EN"
    "http://www.w3.org/TR/html4/strict.dtd">
<html lang="en">
    <head>
        <title> Value Excerption DT Separation Test hAtom#1c</title>
    </head>
    <body>
        <div class="hentry">
            <h1 class="entry-title">An introduction to Microformats</h1>
            <p>
                Published on <span class="published updated">
                 <span class="value-title" title="2009-01-09"> </span>1/9,
                 <span class="value" title="11:33:00-0800"> </span>around lunchtime</abbr>
                </span>
                by <span class="author vcard">
                  <a class="url fn" href="http://example.com">
                      Joe Blogger</a></span>.
            </p>
            <p class="entry-content">Wow, microformats are really useful! You can
                learn loads about them on the 
                <a href="http://microformats.org/wiki">microformats wiki</a>.
            </p>
        </div>
    </body>
</html>

hCal variant 1c

Combining with value-excerption-value-title-test:

<!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.01//EN"
    "http://www.w3.org/TR/html4/strict.dtd">
<html lang="en">
    <head>
        <title> Value Excerption DT Separation Test hCal#1c</title>
    </head>
    <body>
        <div class="vevent">
            <h1 class="summary">Value Exception Test Day!</h1>
            <p class="description">Come help <span class="organizer vcard">
                <a class="fn url org" href="http://microformats.org">microformats.org</a>
                </span> test a new value-excerption pattern for sanity and 
                robustness!
            </p>
            <p>Help out by running some tests at 
              <span class="dtstart">
                <span class="value-title" title="12:00"> </span>midday
                on
                <span class="value-title" title="2009-01-12"> </span>Monday 1/12.
               </span>
            </p>
            <p>See <a class="url" href="http://microformats.org/wiki/value-excerption-dt-separation-test">the
                wiki</a> for more details!
            </p>
        </div>
    </body>
</html>

hCard variant 1c

Combining with value-excerption-value-title-test:

<!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.01//EN"
    "http://www.w3.org/TR/html4/strict.dtd">
<html lang="en">
    <head>
        <title> Value Excerption DT Separation Test hCard#1c</title>
    </head>
    <body>
        <!-- Behind Test -->
        <div class="vcard">
            <h1 class="fn">Ben Ward</h1>
            <p>Ben Ward's birthday is 
                <span class="bday">
                   <span class="value-title" title="1984-02-09"> </span>2/9.
                </span>
                You should throw him a party!
            </p>
        </div>
        <!-- End Test -->
    </body>
</html>

hAtom hCal variant 1c

Combining with value-excerption-value-title-test:

<!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.01//EN"
    "http://www.w3.org/TR/html4/strict.dtd">
<html lang="en">
    <head>
        <title>Value Excerption DT Separation Test hAtomhCalEvil#1c</title>
    </head>
    <body>
        <div class="hentry vevent">
            <h1 class="entry-title summary">An introduction to Microformats</h1>
            <p>
                Published on <span class="published updated">
                 <span class="value-title" title="2009-01-09"> </span>1/11 
                 <span class="value-title" title="11:33:00-0800"> </span> just before noon
                </span>
                by <span class="author organizer vcard">
                  <a class="url fn" href="http://example.com">
                      Joe Blogger</a></span>.
            </p>
            <p class="entry-content description">
                <span class="dtstart">
                    <span class="value-title" title="2009-01-14"> </span>1/14
                    at
                    <span class="value-title" title="19:00"> </span>7pm
                </span> is not the date of a completely fictional microformats
                event. If it existed, it would promise to be informative and get
                you up to speed on microformats.org for 2009! Now you've 
                learned to work with microformats a little, why not attend and
                get involved! Why not? Because this event is a test case, not 
                for real.
            </p>
        </div>
    </body>
</html>

Related Pages

Value Excerption Pattern: special parsing 'value' in date-time properties was last modified: Wednesday, October 7th, 2009

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