RFC: Summary Data Formats

A summary/abstract capability can be implemented like this:

<summary>This is a summary.</summary>

In compliance with a HTML 5.1 proposal, it’s also allowed to be wrapped in a <details> tag,

  <summary>This is a summary.</summary>

although this form isn’t recommended and a transitional provision for the time no semantical identifier has been assigned yet. Clients are free to ignore the <details> wrapping. Clients are also free to ignore any other tags within <summary>, the expectation is that the text nodes regardless of other tag encapsulation will be rendered.

It might be important to point out that this RFC doesn’t imply that semantic meaning is derived from the HTML 5.1 proposal as it remains to be seen if it enters the standard, and this RFC deliberately ignores everything that is proposed in the context of a “living standard”. Summaries created according to this RFC are limited to the semantic meaning and function as outlined in this RFC.

This capability can be used in combination with other capabilities and policies. For example, it could be anticipated that users/groups define a maximum length that is allowed for the text, or mechanisms to manually or automatically decide which text summarizes a given work best. A summary according to this RFC can be incorporated into the work itself or can be published independently. For now, it is expected that such summaries will be used to provide a little bit more detail about a resource in a list of resources, so it gets easier for the reader of such list to decide which resources to retrieve and look at, and which to skip.

Copyright (C) 2018 Stephan Kreutzer. This text is licensed under the GNU Affero General Public License 3 + any later version and/or under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International.

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