[uf-discuss] Microformats: working group vs. meme
mmurphy at municorps.org
Tue Dec 12 05:38:26 PST 2006
Mike Schinkel wrote:
> I don't care what we call them: "techniques" or "Microformats" or
> anything else for that matter. All I care is that we get a simple
> disambiguation strategy included in the recommendation.
Two cents from the peanut gallery...
I think what Mr. Schinkel and Mr. Mabbett are running into is the
apparent schism between microformats-as-working-group and
Microformats.org specifies a process plus a scope delimiter ("paving the
cow paths") which are perfectly reasonable for a working group. In fact,
in many ways, they're exemplary. However, they are more or less
orthogonal to the microformats meme as expressed on the microformats.org
"Designed for humans first and machines second, microformats are a set
of simple, open data formats built upon existing and widely adopted
After all, one can use the microformats.org design techniques and not
pave a cow path. The fact that people are doing this, and are expressly
tipping their cap to microformats.org, suggests that there's a meme
taking root, and people are trying to apply the "microformats" label to
So, when Mr. Mabbett added unAPI references to the wiki, he was
(presumably) doing so to document a use of the meme; that page was then
deleted (presumably) because it wasn't documenting an action of the
From my extremely humble vantage point, I can see three main paths for
microformats.org to choose from:
-- Embrace microformats-as-meme. That implies that the working group
(i.e., those that follow the process outlined on the wiki) is defining
"official microformats" or some such, and that there also are resources
available to folk to discuss and link to things that follow
microformats-as-meme but are not within the working group's scope. This
could be as simple as a separate mailing list and wiki (or set of pages
on the existing wiki).
-- Limit microformats.org to only those things that follow the process.
In this case, somebody will eventually try to fork the meme, as there
will be those who want to do microformats-esque things that don't fit
the working group, and those microformats-esque things need a name
that's cleaner than "microformats-esque".
-- A hybrid: microformats.org helps orchestrate the forking of the meme.
Basically, work with those doing microformats-esque work to come up with
an alternative term and site for the meme, then point people to the meme
when they come up with ideas that fit the meme but not the process or
scope of microformats.org.
Forgive me if I spoke out of turn or have incorrectly identified the
intentions of anyone...
mmurphy at municorps.org
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