[microformats-discuss] Blog Post Microformat for Behavior

Geoffrey Glass geof at geof.net
Sun Aug 14 13:11:36 PDT 2005

I want to clear up some misunderstandings about the role of a blog 
microformat.  Others may have different needs, but this is not an 
attempt to replace Atom or RSS.  First, as Andreas has pointed out, 
RSS/Atom are not archive formats, and I think we do need metadata in our 

However, for me that is not the immediate concern.  In my work, and in 
David's, the Microformat allows us to add behavior to a web page in the 
browser.  I recommend trying David's Greasemonkey script [1,2], because 
it makes this potential very clear:  it detects blog posts on a page, 
and to each post adds an icon with a menu of operations, such as 
bookmarking in del.icio.us, reblogging, etc. (David, you might consider 
adding your script to the wiki page.)  Syndication formats do not help 
in this scenario.

My code [3] adds annotation capability to a web site (by which I mean 
the ability to highlight passages of text and add margin notes).  
However, each web application needs to be modified in order to support 
this annotation.  With a blog format standard, it would become possible 
to put this logic in a browser extension or Greasemonkey script.  Then 
annotation could work for all sites supporting the standard.  (Existing 
annotation extensions, ActiveX controls, etc. cannot achieve this 
because they can only annotate at the level of the page, not at the 
level of individual forum or blog posts.)

I think the problem here may be that until now my impression is that 
microformats have been used chiefly to enhance the web as *data* (e.g., 
by adding metadata useful for search engines and crawlers), not the web 
as *application*.


[1] http://www.blogmatrix.com/include/microformat-find.user.js
[2] http://april291.blogmatrix.org/ (sample bog content for [1])
[3] http://www.geof.net/code/annotation/

> I agree that RSS violates a number of microformat principles, but it  
> does have one major point in its favor over an XHTML-based format: it  
> exists. RSS is in wide use right now, and blogging tools auto- 
> generate it as a matter of course. That makes me wonder whether  
> adding a blog-entry mf isn't spitting into the wind? It could raise  
> that score to a perfect 10, but receive the same warm welcome that  
> other efforts have, when based on the  desire to add a new perfect  
> format to fix the problem of too many imperfect formats.
> So: I'm not arguing that RSS perfectly fits the bill, but I do wonder  
> whether it fits the bill *well enough* to make a blog mf unnecessary  
> for now. You point out that some participants in this thread do not  
> themselves have blogs, which makes me think this is an academic  
> desire not rooted in actual potential use.

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