[whatwg] A tag for measurements / quantity?

Jeremy Keith jeremy at adactio.com
Wed Aug 19 02:44:05 PDT 2009

Max wrote:
> Having used the web for the past 15 years I've always felt that it's  
> a shame when you run into a page with a set of measurements and  
> those can't be interpreted automatically in a sensible fashion.  
> Especially with the fact that there are both imperial and metric  
> units still around in this day and age.

There is currently some work going on around measurements over on the  
microformats wiki:


If you could share any ideas you have on the brainstorming page, that  
would be most welcome:


...and if you have any examples of markup in the wild, that would be  


Hixie asked:
> I don't really understand the use case here. What problem would this  
> be
> solving?

The problem statement on the microformats wiki page reads:

"Measures (e.g. weights, sizes, temperatures) occur frequently on the  
Web, they are constituted of a value a unit-measure and, in scientific  
and technical contexts, an experimental uncertainty. These 3 elements  
should be marked-up consistently across websites so that they can be  
easily identified and acted upon (export, compute, convert) in  
collaborative distributed applications.

Unit-measures differ from locale to locale (e.g. Fahrenheit vs.  
Celsius, pound versus Kilogram), making comparison and matching of  
offerings difficult.

The measurement microformat will enable unambiguous description of  
physical quantities and thus provide a solid ground for data sharing  
and automation in many areas."

Max wrote:
> Personally, the obvious use case for me is recipes.
> With the large majority of humanity doing cooking one could argue  
> that this would be genuinely useful. Then again, it's quite possible  
> no one would ever use this, and it would just end up cluttering the  
> spec.

I agree that there is a genuine use case and I also agree that the  
spec doesn't need to be cluttered with a solution that use case. I  
think that measurement in general (and recipes in particular) are best  
solved by microformats and/or microdata.

By the way, there is a draft recipe microformat in the works and, once  
again, your input would be very welcome:



Jeremy Keith

a d a c t i o


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