Scope of Microformats

I’ve been doing a lot of work with Microformats, recently, but have hit a stumbling block: scoping. According to the reltag specification, scoping is possible:

rel=”tag” is specifically designed for “tagging” content, typically web pages (or portions thereof, like blog posts)
Source: reltag

For example, here’s a chunk of code borrowed from ideaShrub:

<li class="shrub">
  <h2><a href="">...</a></h2>
  <div class="date">...</div>
  <p class="desc">...</p>
    <img src=""/>
    <a href="" rel="tag">ideashrub</a>
    <a href="" rel="tag">documentation</a>

For this block, the appropriate scope for the two tags is within the ‘li’ element – but how can I specify that? For all some application knows, the ‘scope’ of those tags is within the ‘p’ element – or maybe the tags are related to the page as a whole. Why isn’t this specified anywhere? How should scoping be handled – am I missing something?

On the other hand, if you look at the hcard microformat, they seem to be a little bit clearer by saying that a card is wrapped in:

<div class="hcard">...</div>

Which makes sense. Maybe there needs to be some sort of generic ‘object’ or ‘item’ microformat – you could use reltag, xfn, and even hcard all together to describe the object at hand – it just needs a proper scoping wrapper to make it possible. Should I be looking at RDF for this sort of issue, or am I just overlooking something?

Posted: August 5th, 2005

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