looking for patterns vs. dreaming up patterns (was Re: ecommerce was Re: [uf-discuss] Principles of Microformats?)

Tantek Ç elik tantek at cs.stanford.edu
Thu Dec 21 10:04:31 PST 2006

I'm not sure who originally wrote:

> Tantek suggests I'm being
> a bad scientist by allowing myself to look for patterns.

To be clear, collecting examples (data) and looking for patterns is exactly
what the process asks you to do.

Others skip the collecting examples (data) step and simply dream up patterns
based on their intuition (or "expertise") - perhaps that is what you mean by
"allowing myself to look for patterns".

That non-scientific technique has been tried in many (most) standards and
results more often than not in bloated overly complex (certainly not
"micro") standards.  There are exceptions, where an individual with
exceptional discipline and near obsession with simplicity makes something
small and elegant, but they are the exception, not the rule.

I've written up more on this here in order to hopefully clarify this
distinction and answer this question preemptively in the future:




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