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Bug 7800 - title attribute: add new attr for machine-readable strings
Summary: title attribute: add new attr for machine-readable strings
Alias: None
Product: HTML WG
Classification: Unclassified
Component: pre-LC1 HTML Microdata (editor: Ian Hickson) (show other bugs)
Version: unspecified
Hardware: All All
: P3 enhancement
Target Milestone: ---
Assignee: Ian 'Hixie' Hickson
QA Contact: HTML WG Bugzilla archive list
Keywords: NE
Depends on:
Reported: 2009-10-05 00:22 UTC by Nick Levinson
Modified: 2010-10-05 13:03 UTC (History)
5 users (show)

See Also:


Description Nick Levinson 2009-10-05 00:22:12 UTC
Microformats rely often on the title attribute to provide machine-readable strings. This conflicts with tooltips, when they're not meant to be humanly readable. Unhelpful and uninteresting tooltips popping up interfere with user experiences.

Uses of title for machine-parseable strings may be found at

A new attribute should be added.

I propose machine as the new attribute.

Using title for machine-readable non-tooltip strings should be deprecated.

While presently-stable microformats will likely retain title, this should encourage developers to be more semantic. And where the same string can be both a tooltip and machine-usable, using both attributes is preferred over title alone.

Thank you.

Comment 1 Simon Pieters 2009-10-05 11:29:15 UTC
Microdata uses <meta itemprop=... content=...> for this purpose. Does that satisfy your use case?
Comment 2 Nick Levinson 2009-10-06 16:10:24 UTC
Yes, on first impression I think it would work (cf.; I should have caught the microdata addition to HTML5 earlier.

Although I wonder if machine and microdata couldn't coexist. A machine="" attribute would be sufficiently semantic and easier for page authoring.
Comment 3 Ian 'Hixie' Hickson 2009-10-20 00:52:12 UTC
Microdata's entire purpose is to be machine-readable (while being primarily design to be easy to author).

So I don't see what it would mean for the microdata and machine to not coexist.

Anyway since <meta> satisfies your request, marked resolved. Please reopen with a clear description of what your request is, if there is something still to address.