[uf-discuss] eRDF <=> microformats?

Alex Iskold alex.iskold at adaptiveblue.com
Thu Jun 1 21:31:05 PDT 2006

I am fairly new to microformats. My initial reaction was
why not describe the page data in XML first, then use XML to
describe the presentation and then use XSLT to produce the
actual HTML page.

I then realized that this approach does not solve a problem.
In fact it misses the point of microformats, which is to embed
the meta-data with the data, to make the data 'self-describing'
and to eliminate the need for additional query and parsing.

Using RDF does not bring anything new to the solution,
in fact there maybe a lot of solutions to the format problem.
For that reason the format that we choose should be as short
as possible, so that we do not make the documents super verbose.

I agree with Ryan, that RDF is not a good way to go, because it
is pretty complex and it certainly is very verbose.


alex iskold
founder & ceo

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Ryan King" <ryan at technorati.com>
To: "Microformats Discuss" <microformats-discuss at microformats.org>
Sent: Thursday, June 01, 2006 8:44 PM
Subject: Re: [uf-discuss] eRDF <=> microformats?

On May 31, 2006, at 10:09 AM, Dr. Ernie Prabhakar wrote:
> I apologize if this might be off-topic, but I'm honestly curious  and 
> would like to understand this better:
> http://www.bnode.org/archives2/58
> eRDF:
> (+) follows the microformats principles
> http://research.talis.com/2005/erdf/wiki/Main/RdfInHtml
> From my admittedly naive perspective, eRDF looks like it *could* be  used 
> in a way that is compatible with microformats.  That is, not  *all* eRDF 
> schemas and documents *are* necessarily microformats,  but many of them 
> _could_ be.  Conversely, it seems like _most_  microformats could be 
> described using eRDF schemas.

I depends on what you mean by "microformats."

I know the term has evolved and changed over time and that people use
it with many different shades of meaning. I'm fine with some
slipperiness, as that's just how human language works.

However, there's one bit of confusion/misundertand that really does
bother me.  There seems to be this mistaken understanding that
microformats are just "using the class attribute, oh and sometimes
rel and rev too".

Microformats are more than just semantic class names. They're a
process, they're a style, they're an approach.

I understand people's desire to microformatted data into RDF, but I
don't believe that  embedding RDF into HTML is the answer, I think
RDF itself is the problem–

RDF's model is too complex for many people to understand and there's
nothing wrong with that- most people don't need to understand it.

However, I think there's an easier, more effective, lower-cost way of
bridging the two groups- GRDDL [http://www.w3.org/2004/01/rdxh/spec].

Let people publish easy, simple microformats, then you guys can
convert it to RDF. What's so wrong with that? I mean, it *works today*.

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