[microformats-discuss] XHTML tables as CSV-like "records"?

Kevin Marks kmarks at technorati.com
Sun Oct 2 12:00:22 PDT 2005

This is something we discussed last year in 'Can your website be your 


I think it is worth writing out a set of rules, as we did for XOXO. In 
particualr, XOXO constrains each <dt> to one <dd> for simplicitly of 
dictionary mapping, and constraining to have a uniform grid of rows and 
columns makes sense.

You can represent n=dimensional arrays in XOXO as nested lists, but a 
2d table is a very useful special case.

Oh, and as an aside, CSV is really nasty due to horrible escaping rules 
that aren't well-obeyed. Tab and Newline delimited textfiles 
interoperate much better.

On Oct 2, 2005, at 9:34 AM, Dr. Ernie Prabhakar wrote:

> Hi all,
> I'm trying to find out if there is a standard microformat for 
> interpreting tables as a list of records, e.g.:
> <table class="records">
> <tr>
>   <th scope="col"><b>XML Schema Datatype</b></th>
>   <th scope="col"><b>Mac OS X tag</b></th>
>   <th scope="col"><b>XHTML class/tag</b></th>
> </tr><tr>
>   <td>xs:string</td>
>   <td><code>&lt;string></code></td>
>   <td><em>implicit</em></td>
> </tr><tr>
>   <td>xs:integer</td>
>   <td><code>&lt;integer></code></td>
>   <td><code>&lt;div class="integer">&lt;/div></code></td>
> </table>
> The idea is that tables tagged as "records" are expected to:
> 	a) Have a header row
> 	b) Indicate proper scope
> 	c) Contain the same number of elements in each row
> In other words, act like a CSV file.  I've heard Tantek describe XHTML 
> tables this way, but haven't seen an actual microformat (or even 
> design pattern) characterizing the 'right' way to do that.  This seems 
> worthy of its own pattern -- like XOXO for lists -- doesn't it?
> Anyway, if there is no such thing, and people agree it is worthwhile, 
> I'll start collecting examples and such as recommended in the usual 
> process.  I just wanted to check first, to make sure I wasn't missing 
> anything.
> Thanks,
> - Ernie P.
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