[uf-new] collection-design-pattern proposal
msporny at digitalbazaar.com
Tue Apr 24 15:12:42 PDT 2007
Danny Ayers wrote:
> On 24/04/07, Manu Sporny <msporny at digitalbazaar.com> wrote:
>> collection: a non-localized, unstructured grouping of items.
>> list : a localized, structured grouping of items.
> Hmm, <ul> is semantically an unordered grouping...
Almost correct. <ul> is a /localized/ unordered grouping. We are
attempting to find a way to do both non-localized, localized, structured
and unstructured grouping of items.
<ul> + xoxo solves the problem of localized unordered groups.
<ol> + xoxo solves the problem of localized ordered groups.
Both the scenarios above don't solve the problem of grouping items like so:
<li>Related Item 1</li>
<li>Related Item 2</li>
... A text or HTML ...
<li>Related Item 3</li>
<li>Related Item 4</li>
How can we show that all four of those items are in the same group?
We need to provide support for the following:
???? + xoxo needs to solve the problem of unlocalized unordered groups.
???? + xoxo needs to solve the problem of unlocalized ordered groups.
> I take your point, though I would have thought it better to use
> something like:
> <div class="this_is_a_microformat">
> <ul class="class_of_the_items">
Perhaps, but remember - we're trying to see if we can solve the problem
in a general manner. If we re-invent the 'group' for every Microformat,
we'll end up with a great deal of grouping cruft that doesn't need to be
there if the problem can be solved in a general way.
>> The following is needed beyond the examples you gave:
>> - The ability to relate items that are not local to one another in an
>> HTML page.
> doesn't this do that:
> <li><a href="#elsewhere">an item</a></li>
It kinda does do that. There are two reasons I think that proposal is
1. You are creating a 1-1 relationship, not an N-N relationship. URLs
can only point to a single location, thus they are incapable of
providing grouping information by themselves.
2. You are constraining the site design by forcing the need to use a
URI. It doesn't give the site designer an option - it's the
Microformat way or the highway at that point.
>> - The ability to relate items on an unstructured basis.
> Sorry, I don't understand what you mean - isn't a collection a
> structure by definition?
A collection and a list are both structures by definition, yes. I should
have used different vocabulary to define the concept.
When I said structured - I was talking about a strict hierarchical
representation. The XML and HTML text formats have a strict hierarchical
representation. They are deterministic data structures. They are lists.
When I said unstructured - I was talking about a loosely coupled
association. An example of this is the concept of a Set in mathematics.
These are collections.
Did that help clarify what was meant by "unstructured"?
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