[uf-discuss] Very basic question that is not in the FAQ

Tantek Ç elik tantek at cs.stanford.edu
Thu Jun 22 06:32:01 PDT 2006


The short answer to your question is, yes, the microformats community, and
please read the process:

As far as Sam's point, Dimitri is right.  From a *process* perspective, what
we have built (and are continuing to build) with microformats.org has
numerous improvements over more "established" standards bodies and thus I
might make even the *opposite* statement as Sam, that is, perhaps other
standards bodies would do well to watch, learn, and copy the techniques,
infrastructure, process, openness etc. of microformats.org.

As far as the microformats standards themselves, I recognized very early on
that everything we specify here at microformats.org should be "forward
compatible" with the policies of other standards organizations, and thus
established royalty-free patent and sharable (e.g. Creative Commons)
copyright policies and statements accordingly on all microformat
specifications which allow them to be submitted in the future to either W3C
or IETF, without having to decide specifically upfront.  If you work on a
microformat proposal/spec etc. you agree to these by participating in the

Sam points out that I am employed by Technorati and implies that poses some
sort of conflict or corporate bias.  I'll challenge you on that Sam, because
the (by design deliberate) policies of having open email/IRC/wiki with
archives actually serve to make microformats.org *more* transparent and
accountable than *any* other standards effort (I challenge you to find one
with more open policies) no matter *who* is involved or what connections
they may have, and second, enable *anyone* with email/IRC/web access to
participate without having to pay *thousands* of dollars per year to join a
consortium or committee.  In that latter sense, microformats.org is actually
*less* corporate (despite your implication) than other standards bodies
which require paid membership to take part in (very often secret)
discussions which actually write the standards, and in some cases, even just
the *test suites*.

The point here is that microformats.org, as a community was designed to be
open and accessible to independent designers and developers, and puts them
on equal footing with small and large companies alike.

And to correct Sam's implications further, Technorati does not own
microformats.org and this was by design from the beginning just over a year
ago.  At that time Technorati handed over all its preexisting work on
microformats from the Technorati Developer's Wiki (where many of the early
ideas/proposals were born), to the microformats.org wiki and community
specifically to put the work into the hands of the community.

Rémi wrote and asked:

> who is in charge of the development of microformats. Is
> microformats community the only one that is in charge of them?



On 6/22/06 5:17 AM, "Dimitri Glazkov" <dimitri.glazkov at gmail.com> wrote:

> I guess my question is: what's wrong with the way it works now?
> :DG<
> On 6/22/06, Sam Sethi <sam.sethi at vecosys.com> wrote:
>> Hi Remi
>> My take on it is this - Tantek and others started this idea but as it grows
>> up (its 1 years old) it should be handed over to some standards body.
>> Tantek due to his commercial connection with Technorati - IMHO - should
>> divest ownership of Microformats.org to the W3C or some other body.  My only
>> concern is that this may kill the speed and agility of MF's just as they
>> gain traction.
>> Sam
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: microformats-discuss-bounces at microformats.org
>> [mailto:microformats-discuss-bounces at microformats.org] On Behalf Of Rémi
>> Prévost
>> Sent: 22 June 2006 00:33
>> To: Microformats Discuss
>> Subject: [uf-discuss] Very basic question that is not in the FAQ
>> Hi guys,
>> Yesterday, I posted a post on my blog explaining the basics of microformats
>> but I got a question from a reader that is not answered in the wiki FAQ,
>> although I think it is a very good one. The question is:
>> "Are microformats approved by anyone else that their creators and the ones
>> who user them? Who is in charge of them?"
>> I mean, I know they're all open formats, but I was still wondering if
>> there's an organization that is in charge of the microformats.
>> For example, the W3C is in charge of the development of several standards,
>> but who is in charge of the development of microformats. Is microformats
>> community the only one that is in charge of them?
>> Thank you,
>> P.S. - Sorry for my bad english.
>> --
>> Rémi Prévost
>> remi at exomel.com
>> http://remiprevost.com | http://exomel.com

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