[whatwg] A tag for measurements / quantity?

Jonas Sicking jonas at sicking.cc
Fri Aug 28 01:16:13 PDT 2009

On Thu, Aug 27, 2009 at 5:30 PM, Ian Hickson<ian at hixie.ch> wrote:
>> From a practical perspective it would be nice to have an unambiguous way
>> to mark up numerical constants in a document and thus allow a
>> straightforward way of doing conversions.
>> Personally, the obvious use case for me is recipes. Even a relatively
>> simple one requires a lot of manual calculation to convert cups, pounds
>> and ounces into deciliters and grams. While some sites supply conversion
>> tools for this providing the semantic information straight in the markup
>> would allow conversions for any document.
>> 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 can't imagine really seeing enough sites using this to make it worth it,
> but maybe our experience with <time> will show this kind of thing is used
> a lot.

> On Wed, 19 Aug 2009, Jeremy Keith wrote:
>> 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."
> This is begging the question. Just because a pattern occurs a lot doesn't
> mean that it should be marked up.
> But I guess if the microformat is successful, we'll have the data we need
> for the next version of the spec.

Seems like these two arguments can be made against <meter> and
<dialog> respectively.

Especially <dialog> I don't understand how anyone is helped by having
it marked up. Last time I asked it sounded like it was added to put an
end to a perma-thread regarding how to properly mark up dialogs,
started by some off-hand comment in the HTML4 spec. However I was
under the impression that you had tried to avoid using that (ending
permathreads) as a reason for adding something to the spec.

/ Jonas

More information about the whatwg mailing list