[uf-discuss] hCard: url and tel

Tantek Ç elik tantek at cs.stanford.edu
Tue Jan 8 15:17:03 PST 2008

On 1/8/08 6:47 AM, "Christopher St John" <ckstjohn at gmail.com> wrote:

> On Jan 7, 2008 8:14 PM, Tantek Çelik <tantek at cs.stanford.edu> wrote:
>> The distinction of properties, values, types, schema etc. are well
>> documented computer science terms.
> Actually, in knowledge representation terms they're
> usually not. To get around the "what's meta" problem
> people generally just pick a level that seems reasonable
> to the problem at hand and go ahead knowing that other
> choices might have been equally valid. (Computer geeks
> can think Java Reflection or the Lisp MOP. When is a
> type actually data? Just don't go there :-) )
> In HTML for example, the "sematic level" of the various
> tags varies quite a bit: <p> is very generic, <cite>
> very specific, so denying the question isn't helpful to
> those trying to write a new format (or understand the
> logic behind existing formats)
> I generally agree that the discussion of meta-levels can
> be unproductive, but there are choices to be made. A
> better answer to the question about data in class
> attributes might be:
> "Yes, it's data, and there are some fairly deep
> questions about what is appropriate and what is not. We
> tried to cut through the Gordian knot by simply avoiding
> the deep questions. When possible, names are just stolen
> from existing standards (hCard). Otherwise, authors have
> just used intuition to make some reasonable choices.
> There is no hard and fast rule. Different microformats
> have very different sorts of "stuff" in the class
> attribute (just compare xoxo to hReview), the key is to
> make the "stuff" appropriate to the task at hand. If you
> want to author a new microformat, you're going to need
> to make some choices and experience has shown the
> community (and lots of research) will help you with the
> appropriateness of your vocabulary and its 'semantic
> level'. There are also guidelines on the wiki that have
> proven useful in other efforts. Long discussions of the
> what counts as meta often end badly, so don't worry
> about it too much. Instead, concentrate on existing
> practice and trust the community to help with judgement
> calls."

This is a much better answer.

Christopher, perhaps you could consider adding this to the FAQ in answer to
to Katrina's question: "What sort of meta-data is acceptable and what others



>> One way to
>> learn more about such distinctions is to pick up a book or two on computer
>> science and data structure and learn about them.
> I don't personally mind a little heat in my technical
> discussions, but this is exactly the sort of remark Andy
> was banned for, and it's unfair to hit a person who
> can't hit back.

Hitting back is still hitting. It doesn't make it right.

Instead, the right thing to do is to simply call it out (as you did).


On 1/8/08 12:08 AM, "Andy Mabbett" <andy at pigsonthewing.org.uk> wrote:

>>  One way to
>> learn more about such distinctions is to pick up a book or two on computer
>> science and data structure and learn about them.
> Yes; they told me that a few years before they awarded me my degree in
> the subject.

My bad for making the assumption that you didn't have a computer science
degree (unfortunately another example of the logical flaw previously noted).

> Your "snarky" comment, against your own policy, also adds little to the
> debate.

Though not intended as snarky, upon re-reading I can see how it could have
been interpreted that way.

Thus, apologies, comment retracted.

Based on this feedback I will refrain from posting on microformats mailing
lists and making wiki edits (other than admin duties of blocking/reverting
spammers) for 24 hours.


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