[microformats-discuss] RelPayment: Requesting comments

Andreas Haugstrup solitude at solitude.dk
Mon Aug 8 12:17:29 PDT 2005

On Mon, 08 Aug 2005 20:08:10 +0200, Ryan King <ryan at technorati.com> wrote:

 From the bottom:

> Andreas- please dont' take my criticism as harsh, I want to see this  
> format succeed.

I don't. :o)

> 1. The name - the referenced url isn't really a "payment," but a place  
> for someone to make a payment. Perhaps "tip jar" would be a better  
> metaphor. I think this also helps to communicate that the payment is not  
> required, but a donation. Additionally, the spec says: "RelPayment is  
> meant as a general way to facilitate acts of support, and thus this  
> specification makes no assumptions on the type of support." So why not  
> have a more general name?

I don't think the name is a problem. Payment doesn't imply financial  
payment, and the fact that content is visible without paying makes it  
quite clear that payment isn't mandatory. A 'tipjar' on the other hand has  
a strong connotation of a financial donation. A more general term like  
'support' just seems weak to me (and in that instance 'support' probably  
has a stronger connotation of 'help' rather than 'give me some money  

> 2. Visbible metadata++ :)

Thank you. That was my working. :o)

> 3. Is there anyone, anywhere who's done anything similar?  I honestly  
> don't know and I don't know that anyone else has done the research.
>You see, a very important part of the microformat ethos is the principle  
> of reuse (or principle of non-invention)- meaning that we reuse as much  
> as possible and only invent new markup/semantics when necessary.

This was something I knew someone was going to point it out, but I was  
sort of hoping they wouldn't. I'm not one of the concept guys - I'm just a  
loud voice - but it's my understanding that the idea for a RelPayment  
didn't grow out of the microformat idea of "Making the data that people  
*are already publishing* on the *web* more useful". It came from people  
writing RSS readers for videoblogs who wanted to help their content  

Videoblog aggregators suck a lot of bandwidth (especially the ones that  
download everything automatically), and when people read/view through the  
RSS reader any "payment" links that may have been present are at best  
hidden in text somewhere at worst removed. The programmers wanted to give  
something back to the content creators by giving them a way to place  
payment links more prominently. That's the background on it, and why  
there's not a whole lot of 'prior art' research available beyond the  
"people know how to make a link".

> I know you guys have already moved as far has having a basic  
> specification, but it seems you may have skipped some necessary research  
> steps (see my above comments). Perhaps you'd like to start a page at one  
> of http://microformats.org/wiki/relpayment-research (or pick a more  
> general name than relpayment)?

I'll do that then. We've been using the draft writing as a way of fleshing  
out what we wanted to create (see my comment above :p).

- Andreas
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