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

Tantek Ç elik tantek at
Sat Apr 22 01:36:55 PDT 2006

On 4/21/06 7:18 PM, "Luke Arno" <luke.arno at> wrote:

> Mark P. is on the right track here as usual, I think.


> What has been glossed over in this convo is that
> underlying the discomfort that has been expressed
> on the validation front here is this:
> Sure you can validate a microformat reasonably
> well (though it may be difficult to validate format
> transformations that result in microformats) but
> there is not meta-microformat (god, did I just say
> that?!?) to conduct validation automatically
> (ie without manually translating the spec into
> rules that your validator can understand) We
> have profiles, of course but they are not machine
> readable like a schema for tower of babel XML
> (XSD or RNG or what not).

Not glossed over.  I think you may have missed previous discussions which
explained this quite simply.

For *any* popular data format (e.g. HTML, RSS etc.), there is no meta-format
that fully describes them, so the implied assumption that we should seek
that goal for microformats is a poor assumption (or certainly one that is
outside the scope of microformats).

In fact, DTD, Schema, etc. are insufficient to validate any real world
adopted format, whether SGML, XML or something else.  Just go look at the
source for for HTML validation, or the source for the feed
validator for RSS.  Any really useful XML will similarly need far more than
DTD or schema to validate.


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