validating microformats (was Re: [uf-discuss] Google Gdata new syndication protocol!)

Mark Pilgrim pilgrim at
Fri Apr 21 09:20:15 PDT 2006

On 4/21/06, Benjamin Carlyle <benjamincarlyle at> wrote:
> >
> Microformat validation seems like a hard problem to me, or at least a

It's only a hard problem if you insist on using inappropriate
technology to solve it.  Norm is a smart guy, but he's completely on
the wrong track thinking about how to build a useful validator for
microformats.  Perhaps he's hung up on the word "validator".  Perhaps
the word "linter" would be more accurate (although no end users would
understand what it means).

> 1) Microformats permit any underlying html structure to be used, so
> there is nothing to validate there that the w3c validator doesn't
> already do.

Wrong.  See

> 2) Microformats allow arbitrary extension though the use of custom html
> classes provided by the document author. Unknown classes are still
> valid, so they can't be declared as errors.
> 3) The only validation that is possible is to ensure all data that must
> be present in a particular microformat is present.

Wrong.  See

> So, what do we mean by microformat validation? I think x2v+human and
> hAtom2Atom.xsl+human is the best we can hope for.

I've seen a lot of this attitude, here and on uf-dev, and it is
utterly wrong.  (No offense to x2v.  It's a great tool, but it's not a
validator, nor is it a good basis for building a validator.)  Perhaps
the only way to convince you that a microformats validator would be
useful is to build the validator I'm imagining and show you.


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