microformats2-parsing

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<entry-title>microformats2 parsing specification</entry-title>

Tantek Çelik (Editor)


microformats2 is a simple, open format for marking up data in HTML. The microformats2 parsing specification describes how to implement a microformats2 parser.

One of the goals of microformats2 is to greatly simplify parsing of microformats, in particular, by making parsing independent of any one vocabulary. This specification documents the microformats2 parsing algorithm for doing so.

Per CC0, to the extent possible under law, the editors have waived all copyright and related or neighboring rights to this work. In addition, as of 2021-10-23, the editors have made this specification available under the Open Web Foundation Agreement Version 1.0.

algorithm

parse a document for microformats

To parse a document for microformats:

  • start with an empty JSON "items" array and "rels" hash:
{
  "items": [],
  "rels": {}
}
  • parse the root element for class microformats, adding to the JSON items array accordingly
  • parse all hyperlink (<link> <a>) elements for rel microformats, adding to the JSON rels hash accordingly
  • return the resulting JSON

Parsers may simultaneously parse the document for both class and rel microformats (e.g. in a single tree traversal).

parse an element for class microformats

To parse an element for class microformats:

  • parse element class for root class name(s) "h-x" (and backcompat)
    • if not found, parse child elements for microformats (depth first, doc order)
    • else if found, start parsing a new microformat
      • parse child elements (document order) by:
        • parse a child element for properties (p-,u-,dt-,e-)
          • add properties found to current microformat
        • parse a child element for microformats (recurse)
          • if that child element itself has a microformat and is a property element, add it into the array of values for that property
          • else add found elements that are microformats to the "children" array
      • imply properties for the found microformat (see below)

parse an element for properties

parsing a p- property

To parse an element for a p-x property value:

  • parse the element for the Value Class Pattern, if a value is found then return it.
  • if abbr.p-x[title], then return the title attribute
  • else if data.p-x[value], then return the value attribute
  • else if img.p-x[alt] or area.p-x[alt], then return the alt attribute
  • else return the innertext of the element, replacing any nested <img> elements with their alt attribute if present, or otherwise their src attribute if present.

parsing a u- property

To parse an element for a u-x property value:

  • parse the element for the Value Class Pattern, if a value is found then return it.
  • if a.u-x[href] or area.u-x[href], then get the href attribute
  • else if img.u-x[src], then get the src attribute
  • else if object.u-x[data], then get the data attribute
  • if there is a gotten value, return the normalized absolute URL of it, following the containing document's language's rules for resolving relative URLs (e.g. in HTML, use the current URL context as determined by the page, and first <base> element if any).
  • else if abbr.u-x[title], then return the title attribute
  • else if data.u-x[value], then return the value attribute
  • else return the innertext of the element.

parsing a dt- property

To parse an element for a dt-x property value:

  • parse the element for the Value Class Pattern including the date and time parsing rules, if a value is found then return it.
  • if time.dt-x[datetime] or ins.dt-x[datetime] or del.dt-x[datetime], then return the datetime attribute
  • else if abbr.dt-x[title], then return the title attribute
  • else if data.dt-x[value], then return the value attribute
  • else return the innertext of the element.

parsing an e- property

To parse an element for a e-x property value:

parsing for implied properties

To imply properties: (where h-x is the root microformat element being parsed)

  • if no explicit "name" property,
  • then imply by:
    • if img.h-x then use its alt attribute for name
    • else if abbr.h-x[title] then use its title attribute for name
    • else if .h-x>img:only-child then use that img alt for name
    • else if .h-x>abbr:only-child[title] then use that abbr title for name
    • else if .h-x>:only-child>img:only-child use that img alt for name
    • else if .h-x>:only-child>abbr:only-child[title] use that abbr title for name
    • else use the innertext of the .h-x for name
    • drop leading & trailing white-space from name, including nbsp
  • if no explicit "photo" property,
  • then imply by:
    • if img.h-x[src] then use src for photo
    • else if object.h-x[data] then use data for photo
    • else if .h-x>img[src]:only-of-type then use that img src for photo
    • else if .h-x>object[data]:only-of-type then use that object data for photo
    • else if .h-x>:only-child>img[src]:only-of-type then use that img src for photo
    • else if .h-x>:only-child>object[data]:only-of-type then use that object data for photo
  • if no explicit "url" property,
  • then imply by:
    • if a.h-x[href] then use href for url
    • else if .h-x>a[href]:only-of-type then use that a[href] for url

parse a hyperlink element for rel microformats

To parse a hyperlink element for rel microformats: (where * is the hyperlink element)

  • if the "rel" attribute of the element is empty then exit
  • set url to the value of the "href" attribute of the element, normalized to be an absolute URL following the containing document's language's rules for resolving relative URLs (e.g. in HTML, use the current URL context as determined by the page, and first <base> element if any).
  • treat the "rel" attribute of the element as a space separate set of rel values
  • if the set of rel values does NOT have "alternate" then
    • for each rel value (rel-value)
      • if there is no key rel-value in the rels hash then create it with an empty array as its value
      • add url to the array of the key rel-value in the rels hash
    • end for
  • else
    • if there is no top level "alternates" key in the JSON, then create it with an empty array as its value
    • add a new hash to the array with keys:
      • "url": url
      • "rel": the set of rel values appended with spaces, except "alternate"
      • "media": the value of the "media" attribute
      • "hreflang": the value of the "hreflang" attribute
  • end if

rel parse examples

Here are some examples to show how parsed rels may be reflected into the JSON (empty items key).

E.g. parsing this markup:

<a rel="author" href="http://example.com/a">author a</a>
<a rel="author" href="http://example.com/b">author b</a>
<a rel="in-reply-to" href="http://example.com/1">post 1</a>
<a rel="in-reply-to" href="http://example.com/2">post 2</a>
<a rel="alternate home"
   href="http://example.com/fr"
   media="handheld"
   hreflang="fr">French mobile homepage</a>

Would generate this JSON:

{
  "items": [],
  "rels": { 
    "author": [ "http://example.com/a", "http://example.com/b" ],
    "in-reply-to": [ "http://example.com/1", "http://example.com/2" ] 
  },
  "alternates": [{
     "url": "http://example.com/fr", 
     "rel": "home", 
     "media": "handheld", 
     "hreflang": "fr" 
  }]
}

Another parse output example can be found here:

what do the CSS selector expressions mean

This section is non-normative.

Use SelectORacle to expand any of the above CSS selector expressions into longform English prose.

questions

See the FAQ:

issues

See the issues page:

implementations

Main article: microformats2#Implementations

There are open source microformats2 parsers available for Javascript, node.js, PHP, and Ruby.

see also