I know of no uses other than browser plug-ins. For microformats in 
general, browser plugins (or other user-agent behavior--at one point 
there was talk of supporting microformats in FF3 without a plugin, but 
it didn't make it in) are the most common use case.

I know of no way for you to auto-detect if a user-agent wants to do 
something COinS, and I think requiring a user to manually turn it on in 
some kind of OL preferences would largely defeat the purpose of it.

So it's a trade-off, at this point. Is possible interference with some 
screen-reading user-agents of enough concern to outweigh the potential 
utility of COinS?

Either way, as a bunch of us have been saying, we reccommend that you 
don't _limit_ your efforts to provide machine-discoverable/usable 
representations of your citations to COinS.  I think it is useful, but 
not sufficient. But supporting LibX for redirection to my link resolver 
to retrieve library services for the citation is a VERY useful use case 
to me and my patrons.

Incidentally, unAPI suffers from the same potential problem with some 
screen-reading user-agents, being based on the <abbr> tag. Zotero uses 
unAPI (as well as COins), but oh well, same thing.

Apparently RDFa does not suffer from the same problems, I've heard. I 
don't know enough about RDFa to know for sure, or to know how hard it 
would be to implement a useful RDFa solution here. At present, LibX, 
Zotero, etc., do not, as far as I know, use RDFa. But that's the future, 
is my guess. 

There are also other methods of auto-discovery of machine-readable data, 
one I think suggested by Ed in this thread, that don't suffer from this 
problem--but also won't currently be used by LibX, Zotero, etc.


Michael Ang wrote:
> Hmm so there's no implementation of COinS that doesn't interfere with
> screen readers that have "read title tag" turned on?
> It sounds like that isn't the default setting in JAWS but some people do
> turn it on:
> Are there automated (e.g. NOT a browser plugin) uses of COinS?  I'm not
> talking theoretical use but actual bots/spiders/import scripts.  One way
> we could support COinS on OL would be for COinS users to explicitly turn
> it on.  Or possibly it could be automatic if we detect COinS support
> (maybe it's passed in the browser agent?)
>   - mang
>> Not that I know of.
>> You can say display:none, but that'll probably hide it from LibX etc too.
>> What is needed is a CSS @media for screen readers, like one exists for
>> 'print'. So you could have a seperate stylesheet for screenreaders, like
>> you can have a seperate stylesheet for print. That would be the right
>> way to do it.
>> But doesn't exist.
>> Jonathan
>> Thomas Dowling wrote:
>>> On 12/04/2008 02:02 PM, Jonathan Rochkind wrote:
>>>> Yeah, I had recently noticed indepedently, been unhappy with the way a
>>>> COinS "title" shows up in mouse-overs, and is reccommended to be used
>>>> by
>>>> screen readers. Oops.
>>> By any chance, do current screen readers honor something like '<span
>>> class="Z3988" style="speak:none" title=...>'?
>> --
>> Jonathan Rochkind
>> Digital Services Software Engineer
>> The Sheridan Libraries
>> Johns Hopkins University
>> 410.516.8886
>> rochkind (at)

Jonathan Rochkind
Digital Services Software Engineer
The Sheridan Libraries
Johns Hopkins University
rochkind (at)