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

Bruce D'Arcus bdarcus.lists at gmail.com
Wed Dec 6 10:17:03 PST 2006

On 12/6/06, Scott Reynen <scott at randomchaos.com> wrote:


> I don't think the issue is "vs." at all.  The two approaches solve
> different problems, are interoperable, and collectively improve the
> semantics of the web.  It's all good.  ...

Yes, I certainly agree with this.

> > Both microformats and RDFa are addressing the exact same use cases and
> > requirements (augmenting visible content with structured data).
> I don't think the use cases and requirements are the same at all, and
> I hope they never are or we're just doing redundant work here.
> RDFa's use cases include a generic semantic model.  Microformats do
> not.  Microformats have a requirement of making publishing as easy as
> possible to maximize adoption.  RDFa does not share this
> requirement.  These are two different efforts that will lose
> usefulness if merged into one.

OK, I'll grant that the requirements do differ a little (ease-of-use
vs. generality), but if you look through the RDFa examples, they're
all the same kinds of examples. They have more commonality than not it
seems to me.

My problem is that as near as I can tell, this conversation just
doesn't happen. Every time the subject is broached (usually by
developers who don't see much difference between the efforts), Tantak
shuts it down (which I expect to happen soon to this thread).


>  From my perspective, all of these attempts to make microformats more
> generalizable are sort of like telling people who are doing math on
> their fingers that they should stop because that won't scale.  That's
> true, but they don't want it to scale right now.  They just want to
> solve a simple problem using familiar tools.  When they get to
> calculus, they'll pull out the calculator.  I don't want to see
> microformats turned into a calculator while there are plenty of
> finger-math problems left to be solved.


The nice things about metaphors are that they are simple. It's also
their problem; they obscure far more than they illuminate often.

The problem of metadata is not math after all, and in the real
practical world out there, people want to describe what they want o
describe; not to conform to some limited set of terms that only get
agreed to through some tortuous process of which the vast majority of
people couldn't be bothered.


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