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

S. Sriram ssriram at gmail.com
Thu Dec 7 13:13:27 PST 2006

From: "Mike Schinkel" <mikeschinkel at gmail.com>
> S. Sriram wrote:
>>> This is not a scarce resource, people can
>>> (and are) naming classes as they choose.
>>> Any constraint happens at the parsing stage,
>>> since microformat-aware parsers look for
>>> specific class names etc. (see below)
> If it is not a scarce resource, please tell me what would happen if I
> decided to start marking up documents, as an example, using the class
> "directory" and "license", for purposes other than rel-directory and
> re-license?  How could my markup and those Microformats co-exist in the 
> same
> HTML document?

They would simply co-exist. Period.

Hypothetically, say the author uses rel-license
for some internal markup and has unwittingly cut/pasted in a
uf-snippet containing a rel-license tag. The consumer of this
microformat will now be presented with spurious/confusing

How different is this from a web page (today) that contains a rel-license
entry which was not intended to be a microformat in the first place.
Not much. This too will lead to a spurious/confusing interpretation if 
as a microformat. But, is that not what ALL current usages of
this are and is that not how microformats even chooses these
terms by sifting through the way people actually use them.

In other words, just finding a markup on a page that resembles
a microformat 'does not necessarily mean that is is one'. This
is true today. The burden of interpretation is on the consumer
not the author.

Now, if the argument is that authors are 'constrained' in their
class naming freedom, and have to avoid the usage of rel-license
altogether (unless used as specifically noted by microformats.org)
since microformats have 'squatted' on it. The response is NO, you
are not constrained, as the burden of interpretation falls on the
consumer of the microformat and not its author.

As for multiple namespaces and a bureaucracy to govern that, it is
highly unlikely. What is more likely is a white/blacklisting mechanism
if spammers etc. begin wide use of it, much the same way blogs are
being white/blacklisted.

S. Sriram 

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