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by Jay Fienberg

Moment of silence microformat

posted: Jun 21, 2005 2:32:37 PM

I see microformats as relevant to the different webs concepts that I introduced in my previous post, and which I'll write more about soon. And, I wanted to come up with my own example microformat—voilà: the moment of silence microformat (which can be aka, the MOS microformat).

A moment of silence is a way of showing respect, and it's expressed in many ways on various websites and by various individuals. Some people use the literal phrase, "moment of silence" on their site, while other sites have more symbolic expressions, as when people on Metafilter uses the "." character.

So, the MOS microformat is a simple way to codify moments of silence in XHTML. Examples looks like:

<span class="moment-of-silence">.</span>

<h1 class="moment-of-silence">A Moment of Silence</h1>

<br class="moment-of-silence" />

The MOS microformat constraints are, on any given page:

  1. one or more tags must use class="moment-of-silence"
  2. MOS tags may be empty or enclose other markup, mixed-markup, or character data
  3. MOS tag may be any XHTML element that is a valid child of the BODY element, or it may be the BODY element itself
  4. MOS tag should not enclose another MOS tag
  5. any valid markup or valid character data is allowed within enclosing MOS tag
  6. any markup or character data enclosed within a MOS tag is considered the symbolic representation of the moment of silence

So, in terms of that last constraint, any language, character symbols, or visual information can be considered a symbolic representation of silence. Presumably, we might all agree that a bunch of words is not a good symbolic representation of silence, but I don't think it's an absolute condition that the microformat must enforce.

We could also consider how hyperlink A tags might be a way of offering a moment of silence towards the target of the link. But, I didn't know if this was a common usage—if so, I'd think I'd need to add support for rel="moment-of-silence" for this purpose.


Here too is an illustration of an extensible MOS RDF vocabulary:

<mos:moment rdf:about="">

(btw, there is a website now. And, Marc Canter's announced a new service, reblg, which has its own microformat, that was developed by Lucas Gonze.)

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