[uf-discuss] Signalling use of microformats?

Scott Reynen scott at randomchaos.com
Thu Feb 9 16:04:01 PST 2006

On Feb 9, 2006, at 4:55 PM, Ryan King wrote:

> On Feb 9, 2006, at 2:45 PM, Andy Mabbett wrote:
>>>>         <meta name="microformats" content="tag hAtom xFolk" />
>>> Ironically, this is exactly the sort of thing microformats are  
>>> against
>>> using-
>> But it's not a microformat; it's metadata.
> Around here, hidden metadata == bad.

I think that needs some qualification.  Principles should organize,  
not replace, thought.  XHTML is hidden metadata.  If all hidden  
metadata == bad, then we should send XHTML as text/plain, so humans  
can read the XHTML metadata before telling their machines to parse  
it.  Short of that, we should put notes in our XHTML telling people  
that there are CSS and JavaScript documents attached, so they can  
make use of that important metadata.

I realize that it's still common practice to mention feeds in XHTML,  
but I stopped doing this as soon as browsers (machines) started  
recognizing feeds.  I trust a machine to tell a human what it can  
read more than I trust myself to predict what a random human's  
machine will do with a given file (e.g. dump it to the screen and  
completely confuse them).  I see a PR benefit in promoting "This page  
contains microformat X" announcements, but I don't see how this would  
help humans at all.  They can already see the content.  If their  
client can extract the machine-readable version of that content,  
their client will know it can do that, and their client can tell them  
this.  If their client can't extract the machine-readable version of  
the that content, how does it help humans to tell them it's there?


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