[uf-discuss] Re: Microformats are being discussed on Slashdot

John Allsopp john at westciv.com
Tue Jul 11 23:22:22 PDT 2006


to follow up my recent post of things possibly worth responding to  
from /. comments.

SDC: Some of us have been doing this for YEARS. At least now we have  
a buzzword for it.

MFR: Indeed a lot of people have been doing this for years. The  
problem is, they have been doing it independently, and so in  
different ways. As a consequence, different people have their own way  
of marking up the same kinds of content. Two recent surveys [1] [2]  
discovered that the noise to signal ratio in the use of class and id  
is so high that there is effectively no common semantics on the web  
based on the use of these values. So we have been doing this for  
years for little point.
One reason why microformats are valuable is the network effect which  
comes when a large amount of data is marked up in the same way.

The commenter does emphasize an important aspect of microformats -  
they seek to standardize current practice and behavior, rather than  
invent new solutions to new problems. So it's a good thing some of us  
have been doing this for years. Now we can all do it the same way and  
really benefit from it.

[1] http://westciv.typepad.com/dog_or_higher/2005/11/ 
[2] http://code.google.com/webstats/index.html

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