[microformats-discuss] RelPayment: Requesting comments

Ryan King ryan at technorati.com
Mon Aug 8 13:40:36 PDT 2005

On Aug 8, 2005, at 12:17 PM, Andreas Haugstrup wrote:
> 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.

Right. And isn't that what's going on here?

> 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 here').

I don't see anything wrong with the 'help' connotation.

I have a feeling there's others who dislike the name 'payment' here.  
Any thoughts?

>> 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 creators.
> 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".

The important thing is that you guys are trying to solve a real-life  

>> 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).

There's nothing wrong with writing a draft specification early as a  
strawman proposal that is likely to be changed.


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