[microformats-discuss] Web 2.0: Abused

Ryan King ryan at technorati.com
Sun Oct 2 11:30:11 PDT 2005

On Oct 1, 2005, at 6:50 PM, Dimitri Glazkov wrote:

> I would be interested to see list's opinion on this article:
> http://www.digital-web.com/articles/writing_semantic_markup/

> a Web feed is the simplest responses we can receive.

Uh, no. There's still plain text, CVS, etc.

> The utility of RSS results from a characteristic of its markup: it  
> is semantic.

Really? What's the description? Is it the content? Or is it a part of  
the content? Or is it a description of the content?

But I suppose they're just being nice to to RSS, before advocating XHML.

> Over time, our usage of XHTML has drained it of semantics.

Hmm, I believe it was actually the usage of HTML (2-4) that drained  
the markup of its semantics (or, at least, obfuscated them). XHTML is  
actually a return to more semantic markup and people who use XHTML  
tend to have cleaner, more semantic markup.

And to echo Ernie's comment, they don't really use semantic markup here:

> <span class="title">Web 2.0 Design: Bootstrapping the Social Web</ 
> span>
> <span class="author">Porter, Joshua</span>
> <span class="author">MacManus, Richard</span>

That would be much better as:

<h1 class="title">Web 2.0 Design: Bootstrapping the Social Web</h1>
<address class="author">Porter, Joshua</address>
<address class="author">MacManus, Richard</address>

(and you could probably drop those classnames, too, since the  
elements carry similar semantics).

And here they complete the strawman:

> All meaning must come from class names

Which is completely untrue.

> Embedding XML allows for richer data description than using just  
> XHTML because developers can define certain elements for whatever  
> application they’re creating.

Yay! more tower of Babel problems!

> Despite these difficulties, several new XML formats are gaining  
> adoption. One example is Google Sitemaps.

Google Sitemaps != new. They reused a standardized format used by  

Other than all those things, its not a *bad* article- I think they  
cover the material well (though they miss the details).


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