[uf-discuss] Citation format straw proposal on the wiki

Breton Slivka zen at zenpsycho.com
Wed Mar 29 20:47:30 PST 2006

I suppose it's worth fleshing out what I mean by modularization a bit  
more, because I think it's all that's neccesary to infer type.

Suppose we have a core citation format, such as Tim White shows,  
containing the following properties/classes. hCite

Author (hcard)
Catalogue Number

Then we have properties that are specific to books/journals


If these properties are present, then we know that this item is  
probably not say.. a photo or a painting, and contains all the  
properties which allow it to be pased the same whether it's a book or  
a journal. Combine it with hCite and suddenly we have bookCite

The properties specific to artwork might be:


add them to hCite and we have artCite

Then suppose we have properties specific to a photo


We add those to artCite and suddenly with have photoCite, demonstrated.

<cite class="hcite">
<p class "author fn">Ansel Adams</p>
<span class="title">Siesta Lake</span>
<span class="camera">8x10 view camera</span>
<span class="medium">Gelatin Silver Print</span>

 From the presence of "camera" we can glean that this is an instance  
of photocite. But a generic parse can still glean the Author and  
Title properties. A domain specific parser has the extra data it  
needs for cataloguing, or whatever other task required. The domain  
specific parser could safely ignore hCites lacking any of the  
properties required for photoCite. Etc. etc.

In short, one core format that everything can understand, with  
properties available for domain specific applications. The careful  
categorization and "branding" of each module helps to keep things  
simple for site authors.

Basically I'm basing this off the "modularization of xhtml". For  
instance, most site authors only need the basic modules for xhtml.  
They have no need for something like the Ruby module. But there's a  
large portion of the audience that does, and when they need that,  
it's available as a module.

Does that make sense?

On Mar 29, 2006, at 7:17 PM, Tim White wrote:

> Well, this is a lot to process at the end of the day. Here's just a  
> few
> of my initial thoughts.
> First, and I've asked this before, what are we trying to do? For me, I
> just want a *simple* way to mark up books, be it a title, title &
> author, or slightly more.
> We are NOT replacing OpenURL, etc.
> We are NOT building library/scholarly citation records
> (in my opinion)
> Those already exist and, as has been shown on the list, are very
> complicated. They also serve a specialized audience and I don't think
> reflect the 80/20 of general users.
> The format should be as simple as possible.
> As for type attributes (ie, class="book"), Bryan Suda and I had a
> lengthy discussion a while ago about that. I too believed it was
> necessary, but came to see that it is purely extraneous metadata. Look
> at a sample citation, something like:
> R. Buckminster Fuller. Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth, Pocket
> Books, 1970, pp. 13, 14.
> No where does it tell you what this is. We infer (from the blog  
> post in
> this case) that it is a book. Or, we look it up via Amazon or library
> card catalog to find that it is a book.
> Think of hCard. For organizations do we include a type identifier?
> I.e.: <span class="org webdevelopment">Webs - R - Us</span>.
> A simple format also makes the MF usable for more than books. Works of
> art have been mentioned. Just use the same layout:
> Edvard Munch. "The Scream", 1893.
> It still has a creator, title and date.
> --- Alf Eaton <lists at hubmed.org> wrote:
>> OK, so a minimal microformat for a citation could look like this:
>> <x class="citation [type]">
>>     <x class="title">Item title</x>
>>     <x class="creators"><hcards></x>
>>     <x class="container citation [type]"><hcitation for the
>> container></x>
>>     <x class="pages">n-n</x> [and anything else specific to this
>> particular type of citation]
>> </x>
> This seems to be on the right track; similar to what I had in mind.
> At work, we have need of a citation microformat and are going to be
> using mark up like this for now:
> <div class="citation">
>     <span class="articleTitle">"Accelerated Aging: Human Progeroid
> Syndromes."</span>
>     <span class="author">Author Name</span>.
>     <span class="pubTitle">Encyclopedia of Aging</span>.
>     <span class="volume">Vol. 1.</span>
>     <span class="pubCity">New York:</span>
>     <span class="publisher">Macmillan Reference USA,</span>
>     <span class="pubYear">2002</span>.
> </div>
> It's not perfect, but it fits our needs. Transforming that:
> <cite class="hcitation">
>     <span class="articleTitle">"Accelerated Aging: Human Progeroid
> Syndromes."</span>
>     <span class="author vcard"><span class="fn">Author
> Name</span></span>.
>     <span class="pubTitle">Encyclopedia of Aging</span>.
>     <span class="volume">Vol. 1.</span>
>      <div class="publisher vcard">
>     <span class="locality">New York:</span>
>     <span class="org fn">Macmillan Reference USA</span>,
>     <abbr class="dtpublished" title="2002">2002</abbr>.
>      </div>
> </cite>
> I know it isn't perfect, but it's based on reusing existing MF, and (I
> hope)in keeping with the principles.
> (In looking back at it, wouldn't it be possible to do only on vCard,
> perhaps way up in <cite>, that would encompass the author and
> publisher? Those who know parsing (Brian S.) -- does that screw up
> hCard parsing?)
> ~ Tim
> <a href="http://www.tjameswhite.com">www.tjameswhite.com</a>
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