[microformats-discuss] Take 2 Re: Definition of "microformat"?

Dr. Ernie Prabhakar drernie at opendarwin.org
Fri Sep 16 09:39:55 PDT 2005

Sigh.   Here I go disagreeing with myself again. :-)

After reading Tantek's dissection of RSS (doh! should've done that  
sooner), let me amend my definition (Take 2)

Microformats are
  simple conventions
    that normalize existing tag usage patterns
    using brief, descriptive class names
  embedded in human-readable (X)HTML document
  that provide precise semantics
    for a specific problem domain
  which enable a decentralized ecosystem
    of resources, tools, and services

This attempts to capture the What, Where, How, and Why.   Is that  

The short version is now less short, but is hopefully more  

"simple conventions embedded in HTML that provide semantics which  
enable an ecosystem"

Is that appropriate vaguely enough? :-)

-- Ernie P.

On Sep 16, 2005, at 9:18 AM, Dr. Ernie Prabhakar wrote:

> Hi all,
> I can never resist a good etymological workout. :-) Here's my take:
> Microformats are
>  terse conventions
>    for using existing tags
>    and brief, descriptive class names
>  that assign precise semantics
>    for a single, well-defined problem domain
>    within HTML/XHTML/XML documents
> In short, "Microformats are terse conventions that assign precise  
> semantics."
> -- Ernie P.
> "Keep things as vague as possible -- but no vaguer"
> (Dr. Ernie's First Law of Marketing)
> On Sep 16, 2005, at 6:22 AM, DuCharme, Bob (LNG-CHO) wrote:
>> Stephen Downes wrote:
>>> "Microformats are descriptions of types of data that can be  
>>> expressed
>>> in a consistent manner and which can be part of, or embedded in,
>>> larger data elements. When the consistent expression of a  
>>> microformat
>>> is defined and widely employed, this data may be reliably extracted
>>> from these larger data elements, thus allowing the microformat  
>>> data to
>>> assist in the characterization and indexing of the larger data
>>> elements."
>> I think the emphasis on embedding microformat data elsewhere for  
>> later
>> aggregation adds (and explains) a lot. Shouldn't a complete  
>> definition of
>> microformats mention the re-use of existing schemas, though? As I  
>> understand
>> it, making up your own elements and attributes is not the typical
>> microformats approach.
>> Otherwise, substituting "RDF" for "Microformats" above would still  
>> make your
>> paragraph a true statement!
>> Bob
>> _______________________________________________
>> microformats-discuss mailing list
>> microformats-discuss at microformats.org
>> http://microformats.org/mailman/listinfo/microformats-discuss
> _______________________________________________
> microformats-discuss mailing list
> microformats-discuss at microformats.org
> http://microformats.org/mailman/listinfo/microformats-discuss

More information about the microformats-discuss mailing list