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

Scott Reynen scott at randomchaos.com
Thu Dec 7 13:19:34 PST 2006

On Dec 7, 2006, at 2:28 PM, Mike Schinkel wrote:

> 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?

The classes wouldn't cause any problems, but if you mean the "rel"  
attribute, that would cause parsers to do confusing things with the  
data.  Then people would start complaining to the parser developers,  
and the parser developers would start ignoring those attributes  
unless they were accompanied by the appropriate profile headers.  And  
then publishers would start using the appropriate profile headers to  
disambiguate their microformats.  None of that is happening now  
because there's no (or very little) ambiguity now, so there's little  
incentive to pre-emptively disambiguate.  But if ambiguity ever  
becomes a real problem, there's a solution in profile headers ready  
to be used.

The next question I expect is: what if you want to use both the  
microformats.org rel-license and your own conflicting rel-license in  
the same document?  Well, you can't.  Just like in natural language,  
if you want to start using symbols with meanings that conflict with  
the established standard, you need to be prepared to establish a new  
standard meaning.  And the usefulness of your new meaning, rather  
than some central authority, will determine whether or not people use  
it in place of the alternative meaning.


More information about the microformats-discuss mailing list