[Taxacom] Microformats

Michael Lee mikelee at email.unc.edu
Sat Nov 3 17:55:08 CDT 2007


Hi all,

I'd not heard of microformats yet, and it sounds both interesting and useful.

I'm trying to figure out how this won't cause problems with the
ambiguity of names between different projects, including things that
aren't microformats at all.

So one example on the wiki was:
    <span class="species">
        <span class="binominal">Larus glaucoides</span>
        <span class="subsp">kumlieni</span>
    </span>

shouldn't the wrapping element be something like this:
  <span class="microformat.species">
or <span class="microformat"><span class="species">

Even better, I think some would argue this is a use for RDF or custom
element names, as it would be briefer:
<mf:microformat>
  <mf:species>
     <mf:binominal>Larus glaucoides</mf:binomial>
     <mf:subsp>kumlieni</mf:subsp>
  <mf:species>
<mf:microformat>

I don't really understand RDF, but from what I understand of it, it
seems to me that it might be a more elegant and flexible solution than
agnostic HTML elements with class names.  CSS could style these
attributes just as they style other attributes.  I think this better
separates DATA from STYLING, as HTML element names have something to
do with style.

Perhaps you could also allow use of the same element names as classes
for HTML elements for those who really wanted to do so.

--michael

----------------------------------------
Michael Lee
(former) VegBank Project Manager
http://www.vegbank.org
----------------------------------------

On 11/3/07, Andy Mabbett <andy at pigsonthewing.org.uk> wrote:
> In message <200711031318.lA3DIbN4010534 at burp.tkv.asdf.org>, Markku
> Savela <msa at moth.iki.fi> writes
>
>
> >> Briefly, microformats are a way of using HTML classes, with
> >> commonly-agreed class names, to describe existing web content, so that
> >> tools such as browser plug-ins can extract that data and re-use it. For
> >> example, showing coordinates on a map, adding contact details to address
> >> books, and adding events to calendars - or looking up taxonomic names in
> >> databases, image repositories, etc.; and adding them to recording
> >> software.
> >
> >I'm always interested in considering the use of such things, if they
> >do not cause the page size to explode, e.g. the formats should be
> >compact.
>
> Agreed; but here's a trade-off between compactness and semantic
> meaningfulness.
>
> > On my site, (http://www.funet.fi/pub/sci/bio/life/), some
> >pages are quite large, and even minor increase of markup length can
> >have significant impact (for example, the page for Papilio is already
> >way too large!)
>
> at 2Mb, you're not wrong!
>
> You could sub-divide, perhaps alphabetically (Papilio A-M, Papilo N-Z,
> etc.) or even consider a page for each species, which would make it
> convenient for others to link to them. If the URLs of those pages ended:
>
>         papilionidae/papilioninae/papilio/euchenor
>
> or
>
>         papilionidae/papilioninae/papilio/papilio+euchenor
>
> then they would be suitable for use as "tags" as well:
>
>         <http://microformats.org/wiki/rel-tag>
>
> You could save a little size by changing your path from, e.g.:
>
>         src="../../../../../../../icons/home.gif"
>
> to:
>
>         src="/icons/home.gif"
>
> Better still, apply those icons using CSS background images, on existing
> classes; or mark-up your breadcrumb using borders, like that on:
>
>         <http://www.westmidlandbirdclub.com/belvide/latest.htm>
>
> If you replace SPANs with DIVs then, for example:
>
>         <span class=LR><i>Calaides ornythion</i> ;  </span><br>
>
> becomes:
>
>         <div class=LR><i>Calaides ornythion</i> ;</div>
>
> removing the need for BR elements and saving more characters (note that
> you also have redundant white space, after the semicolon - it all adds
> up!).
>
> >I'm already "almost using" such markup, but only for formatting
> >purposes. You can take a look at the comment on the beginning of the
> >style sheel (for microformats, only the SPAN's are relevant):
> >
> >  http://www.funet.fi/pub/sci/bio/life/life.css
>
> Microformats are element-agnostic. The content of:
>
>         <span class="biota"></span>
>
> is treated equally as:
>
>         <li class="biota"></li>
>
> or:
>
>         <h2 class="biota"></h2>
>
> or whatever (there are some specific exceptions, such as certain classes
> and A or IMG elements).
>
> >However, to get compact, I prefer just to have one format for all
> >scientific names (SPAN CLASS=SN), and the content of this span is
> >always
> >
> > <span class=SN><i>scientific name</i> author ; reference </span>
>
> Your class=SN is the same as class=biota in the current 'species'
> microformat draft; but your mark-up lacks the semantics which make the
> various components parsable.
>
> ><abbr>f.</abbr>
>
> The purpose of the ABBR element is to contain a title which expands the
> abbreviation:
>
>         <abbr title="form">f.</abbr>
>
>
> You also have some invalid HTML, which is a pity, as the mark-up is
> thoughtfully written. I suggest you test it at:
>
>         <http://validator.w3.org/>
>
> Do drop me a line if the results are not clear to you.
>
> --
> Andy Mabbett
>
>             *  Are you using Microformats, yet: <http://microformats.org/> ?
>
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