[microformats-discuss] Re: Educationg Others

Ryan King ryan at technorati.com
Tue Oct 4 16:27:20 PDT 2005

On Oct 4, 2005, at 3:40 PM, Lisa Rein wrote:

> I understand *exactly* what Scott's getting at here. It's quite
> fundamental, really. I think he did a great job at taking a stab at  
> fixing
> the problem that I was just about to send an email out on, so here  
> goes.
> But first things first. RE: profiles. Then I will get back to  
> namespaces
> and/or Scott's elegant attempt at providing context for the different
> namespaces using span tags, etc. And demonstrating the need for a  
> unique
> ID (URI) for each. Which is our only hope...and, as we've already
> discussed, is required anyway by the XHTML/HTML specs...
> so first, profiles...OK i finally get it now.
> 1. I went and checked out the profile at:
> http://gmpg.org/xfn/11
> which, although an example document would be nice, does seem to  
> conform to
> a profile example on the w3c site:
> http://www.w3.org/2002/12/namespace
> Note that I'm *not* trying to make a point showing the namespace  
> profile,
> it's just that, frankly, there aren't a lot of profiles out there  
> to be
> found, and I wanted to find one from "the source" so I would know  
> that it
> was conformant.
> So, in conclusion, *when these formats have their profiles*, they are
> XHTML conformant. Which is good :-)
> 2. namespaces and mixing markup:
> As I mentioned earlier, I still have a question regarding the point  
> that
> Scott brought up about using multiple microformats within a single
> document, which, if I understand correctly, is kinda the whole  
> point of
> microformats.
> I don't understand how you would mix domain-specific markup without  
> some
> kind of mechanism for informing software about which is which.

Its quite easy, we do it everyday.

You see, agents should look for microformats they understand and  
ignore other markup. This is the case with current XFN  
implementations, X2V, etc.

> Otherwise
> the different vocabularies have no real meaning to a software  
> application.

The microformat still has meaning.

> (Context is everything when you're dealing with semantics. Otherwise,
> there are no semantics really :-)

Context is important, but it can be local, we don't need global  
context to make sense of every bit of data.

> Actually, Scott's example looks like it could work.

For what? I still don't know what (specific) problem that (real, not  
imaginary) people are facing *today*.

>     <span id="help" class="context">
>        [help controls presentation + help content references defined
>  with microformats]
>     </span>
>     <span id="navigation" class="context">
>        [navigation panel presentation + navigation controls defined
>  with microformats]
>     </span>
> I was going to ask if the different microformats be defined using  
> multiple
> profile attributes within the same HEAD element? But that seems really
> messy, and doesn't solve the problem of differentiating the markup  
> within
> the page. (I can't tell if it's allowed.)

Multiple profiles are allowed, space separated.

Multiple microformats *are* distinguishable. See Kevin's recent post  
on re: elemental and compound formats.

> Would using multiple profile attributes even be allowed? And how  
> would a
> user agent able to differentiate between the different microformats if
> they all use "rel-tag" method?

They are differentiable because they are *different*. I'm not sure  
what more we need.

> Is there perhaps an example of using multiple vocabularies in  
> action, so I
> may practice implementing it. I'd like to get started on the video
> metadata microformat examples, and I would like to incorporate another
> microformat within the example to demonstrate how this would be
> accomplished.

Um, Tantek uses rel-tag, hcalendar and hcard on his blog -> http:// 

Eventful uses hcalendar and hcard -> http://eventful.com, as does  

Come to think of it, most of http://microformats.org/wiki/ 
implementations uses multiple microformats.

Once again, as Rohit says, we've *proven* that microformats (at  
least, the ones developed so far) work in practice, we just need to  
show that they work in *theory*.

The arguments in this thread are theoretical– in theory there's no  
difference between theory and practice, but in practice there is.


Ryan King
ryan at technorati.com

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