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Use of <abbr> in microformats

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Reply with quote Some of you may be familiar with microformats <http://microformats.org/>, a method of adding additional markup to a data item, so that it can be parsed by machines, and indexed, search for, or aggregated.

Some microformats use the title attibute of the <abbr> tag to mark-up, for example:

Code:

<abbr
class="dtstart"
title="2006-09-15T19:30:00+01:00">7:30pm
</abbr>


and:

Code:

<abbr class="latitude" title="37.408183">N 37° 24.491</abbr>


Does this seem OK, or can anyone see any problems?

How would assistive technology render them?

--
Andy Mabbett
@pigsonthewing
Birmingham, England
Reply with quote the only problem I see is that the examples you give are not abbreviations and hence semantically incorrect.

http://www.opsi.gov.uk/acts/acts1995/Ukpga_19950050_en_8.htm#mdiv57
Reply with quote I agree with Jim, but note that Andy's examples are not his lack of semantics; it's inherent in the spec of some microformats.

The reason <abbr> is used, in my opinion not particularly semantically, is simply to accommodate the Safari browser, which has lamentable support for the <object> element that they originally wanted to use. (See Tantek Celik's explanation of this http://tantek.com/log/2005/01.html#d26t0100 )

While we've all of us made accommodations for the majority browser, it makes me feel a little queasy that semantics are being compromised to accommodate a very minority browser like Safari - particularly when that's in active development and could be fixed (Dave Hyatt certainly seems responsive when people request changes to help its Standards support - see the excellent response to the ACID 2 test http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Safari_(web_browser) )

<cynicism>I wonder if the movers and shakers in the microformats world are primarily Safari users? </cynicism>

www.brucelawson.co.uk
Web Evanglist, Opera, WaSP Accesibility Task Force
Study the Web Standards Curriculum

International Lothario (retired)
Reply with quote As semantic kludges go, this isn't a subtle one.

However, the good thing about Microformats is that they are based on the class attribute and not the tag name. My understanding is that you could use this instead:
Code:
<span class="dtstart" title="2006-09-15T19:30:00+01:00">7:30pm
</span>
And it would still be a fully processable Microformat.

Last edited by Ben Millard on 21 Sep 2006 12:10 pm; edited 1 time in total
Reply with quote
Cerbera wrote:
My understanding is that you could use this instead:
Code:
<span
class="dtstart"
title="2006-09-15T19:30:00+01:00">7:30pm
</span>
And it would still be a fully processable Microformat.


Sadly (inexplicably?) not so:

http://microformats.org/wiki/abbr-design-pattern

http://microformats.org/wiki/class-design-pattern

--
Andy Mabbett
@pigsonthewing
Birmingham, England
Reply with quote The data type of the content area and attributes of an element used in a Microformat is set solely by the semantics of the class(es), AFAIK. Any element which can take a class and a title should be suitable for datetime; I don't know why they've decided that isn't the case.
Reply with quote I imagine because they've a rule that if there is an element that they can possibly use rather than an arbitrary container, they'll use it.

Tantek's page shows that he believes "25 January 2005" is an abbreviation of "20050125". I disagree.

I think they should have used the object element, and Safari should damn well implement the html spec properly.

But I think My Bloody Valentine are tuneful, and Pui Fan Lee is a sex goddess, so my judgement might be impaired.

www.brucelawson.co.uk
Web Evanglist, Opera, WaSP Accesibility Task Force
Study the Web Standards Curriculum

International Lothario (retired)
Reply with quote
brucelawson wrote:
But I think My Bloody Valentine are tuneful,

'Loomer' is a brilliant song. Smile

Edit: But 'When you sleep' is better.

Jim O'Donnell
work: Royal Observatory Greenwich
play: eatyourgreens
Reply with quote Interesting debate, so far, thanks, but what about:

pigsonthewing wrote:
How would assistive technology render them?

--
Andy Mabbett
@pigsonthewing
Birmingham, England
Reply with quote
pigsonthewing wrote:
Interesting debate, so far, thanks, but what about:

pigsonthewing wrote:
How would assistive technology render them?


I can see no reason why assistive technologies would render them any differently to any other <abbr> that they rendered, unless that particular assitive technology was aware of microformats.

Accessify Forum Administrator ~ Nigel Peck / Starstream
"Everything I say is not meant to be set in stone" - Van Morrison


Last edited by Nigel Peck on 21 Sep 2006 11:06 pm; edited 2 times in total
Reply with quote
Nigel Peck wrote:
pigsonthewing wrote:
How would assistive technology render them?


I can see no reason why assistive technologies would render them any differently to any other <abbr> that they rendered.


Neither can I - so, how would that be?

--
Andy Mabbett
@pigsonthewing
Birmingham, England
Reply with quote
pigsonthewing wrote:
Neither can I - so, how would that be?


A screen reader might read the characters out.

For your examples it wouldn't be very beneficial for the user, especially in the case of the time. '2006-09-15T19:30:00+01:00' being read out is not much use to the user.

If the assitive technology being used was aware of microformats then I suppose it would depend on the particular data item. For the latitude in your example I suppose a screen reader could identify the data as that while reading it out and possibly offer further functions such as connecting to a map service? The time could be formatted locally?

Accessify Forum Administrator ~ Nigel Peck / Starstream
"Everything I say is not meant to be set in stone" - Van Morrison
Reply with quote
Nigel Peck wrote:
pigsonthewing wrote:
Neither can I - so, how would that be?


A screen reader might read the characters out.


Thank you - I'm aware that they might; I want to know what they do.

--
Andy Mabbett
@pigsonthewing
Birmingham, England
Reply with quote
pigsonthewing wrote:
Use of <abbr> in microformats


FYI, this discussion is, in turn, being discussed here <http://microformats.org/discuss/mail/microformats-discuss/2006-September/005667.html> (et seq)

--
Andy Mabbett
@pigsonthewing
Birmingham, England
Reply with quote There's some info about screen readers rendering abbr/acronym here (from Terence de Giere on the WebAIM list in 2003)

Accessify Forum Administrator ~ Nigel Peck / Starstream
"Everything I say is not meant to be set in stone" - Van Morrison

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