[uf-discuss] generic microformat parsing heuristics?

Mark Pilgrim pilgrim at gmail.com
Mon Nov 7 16:59:22 PST 2005

On 11/7/05, David House <dmhouse at gmail.com> wrote:
> One of the main advantages of a generalised microformat parser is that
> it allows us to write less code when the next compound microformat
> comes out. First off we only had hCard and hCal. Now with things like
> hReview and hAtom coming in, don't you think it would be useful to
> have a decent base which we could just extend when the next
> microformat comes out?

Yes, but that's not an answer to the original question.  The original
question was whether one could write a *generic* parser that could
parse new microformats *without prior knowledge of their precise
schemas*.  Your "decent base" parser wouldn't do that.

The danger lies in seeing opportunities for code re-use (which is
good), then making the mental leap to "generic code that could parse
new formats without prior knowledge."  It sounds like a seductively
small leap to make, but it's not really.  It's a black hole from which
no community has ever escaped.


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