[admin] Re: general purpose (was Re: [uf-discuss] Hello / Semantically-Interlinked Online Communities (SIOC))

Tantek Ç elik tantek at cs.stanford.edu
Tue Nov 8 15:35:04 PST 2005

On 11/8/05 3:09 PM, "David Janes -- BlogMatrix" <davidjanes at blogmatrix.com>

> Karl Dubost wrote:
>> Le 05-11-07 à 11:51, Tantek Çelik a écrit :
>>>> Disambiguation of names
>>>> (attribute values) within a document is achieved through (for want of
>>>> a better phrase) Intelligent Design, i.e. the 'approved' microformats
>>>> are constructed with the prior intention that naming clashes won't
>>>> happen.
>>> A better way of putting this is that the disambiguation is achieved
>>> through
>>> the social design of having a *very* open community (microformats.org)
>> being a very open community, unfortunately doesn't necessary address
>> universality. I wish it was another way. But yes the openness is a  key
>> and an advantage.
> I think this speaks to one of the mental leaps that people have to make
> when coming to this community: Microformats are *not* a general purpose
> mechanism for expressing arbitrary semantic data in XHTML; thus, the
> issue of universality doesn't come up too often!

David is precisely correct.

In fact, excerpted from the about page:


  microformats are not:
    * infinitely extensible and open-ended
    * a panacea for all taxonomies, ontologies, and other such abstractions
    * defining the whole world, or even just boiling the ocean

So yes, such "general purpose" or "universality" is an explicit NON-goal.

This is one of the *strengths* of microformats.

Some might paraphrase it as "keeping it real".

There are other forums elsewhere where folks spend inorderinate amounts of
time discussing general purpose universal solutions to problems of
representing data/information.

This is not the forum for that and frankly, even the discussion of whether
we should be pursuing general purpose universality or not is an-off topic
rathole that is to be avoided on the microformats-* lists.



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