[uf-discuss] Comments from IBM/Lotus rep about Microformats

Bruce D'Arcus bdarcus.lists at gmail.com
Wed Dec 6 05:45:20 PST 2006

On 12/5/06, Scott Reynen <scott at randomchaos.com> wrote:


> In HTML or JSON, new formats need new parsers, which must be written
> by someone.

Exactly. The point is if you have a generic model you have a generic parser.

> Elias is coming from an RDF background, and microformats
> simply aren't RDF, and they never will be.  And that's a good thing.
> If what you want is RDF, just use RDF.

The issue isn't really microformats vs. RDF (except as RDF provides a
model), but microformats vs. RDFa.

Both microformats and RDFa are addressing the exact same use cases and
requirements (augmenting visible content with structured data).

RDFa includes namespacing, the lack of which is already a problem in
microformats (witness hCite and the serious awkwardness that title
will be indicate using fn), and which will grow over time as more and
more people want to mark up their content.

Moreover, the need to write dedicate code for each new microformat
will also present serious scalability problems.

Finally, that there's no model at the heart of microformats with clear
extension rules means that the vaunted social process here is a mess.
It's all centralized, and people get frustrated when their pet
property isn't included because they know what that means: the tools
written for the blessed microformats won't see them.

So while it might be comforting to dismiss RDFa and "it's not our
problem", I don't think it's good strategy.


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