Misc (was: [uf-discuss] Disambiguation Conventions? (was Comments fromIBM/Lotus rep about Microformats))

Andy Mabbett andy at pigsonthewing.org.uk
Tue Dec 12 12:27:41 PST 2006

In message <005701c71e23$b9ae6050$0201a8c0 at andrieuhome>, Joe Andrieu
<joe at andrieu.net> writes

>Although the process says to use the microformats wiki and mailing
>list, there is no "official" blessing as both of these media are either
>unmoderated or "community" moderated.

It appears that neither is the case, but they seem to be moderated, in
effect, by a small group - a clique, or, if you will, a cabal. That
/may/ be acceptable, but if it is the case, it should be  made explicit.

>Any user could make recommendations and edits.

But only the above few have the power to revert, then impose their
preferred versions by use of blocking and banning.

Unlike most people's experience of wikis, such as Wikipedia, there are
no (or at least, no explicitly clear-) checks and balances, and no
method for ensuring community consensus.

>There really is never an "official" version of any given microformat,
>although there have been statements that eventually their will be when
>shepharded through a standards body.

I wonder if such a body would expect what is presented to them or would
require an *openly* (and openly documented) democratic and consultative

>  The only real authority is the autocratic role played by Ryan and

(!) Which seems to contradict your previous comments, above (and to
support mine).

>For example, since it was initially stabilized hCard has been changed
>to include "place" in its semantics, yet we have no way to let parsers
>know that the "new" hCards may not be people, companies, or
>organizations, but instead may also be places.

This interests me. It's not apparent from the 'wiki' that that's a more
recent development. Please can you site links for the relevant

>If it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, you really can't tell
>if it is a duck, but the parsers will try to treat it like a duck
>anyhow, even when it is simply semantic HTML that happens to have the
>same class names as a microformat.

In that respect, class="vcard" is unlikely to exist outside of the hCard
microformat (in English, at least - for all I know, vcard could be a
word or abbreviation, in some language, for "contact").

But we're in danger of discussing parsing, and isn't that, er, forbidden
on this, ahem, unmoderated list?

>Microformats are still cool.  I just don't think they scale well, which
>is apparently by design.

In many things, and especially IT specifications, "apparently by design"
is dangerous; designed behaviours should be made explicit (or perhaps I
should say "expressed honestly"?)

Andy Mabbett
            *  Say "NO!" to compulsory ID Cards:  <http://www.no2id.net/>
            *  Free Our Data:  <http://www.freeourdata.org.uk>
            *  Are you using Microformats, yet: <http://microformats.org/> ?

More information about the microformats-discuss mailing list