[uf-discuss] Re: meeting minutes: microformats needed?

Chris Messina chris.messina at gmail.com
Wed May 3 17:27:41 PDT 2006

On 5/3/06, brush <brush at tryonfarm.org> wrote:

> this does bring us back to question of how to describe a group of people
> and the relationships among them, within a specific context.  if it's a
> list of hcards with the "role" class used to distinguish their relation
> to the parent class (eg. "facilitator" for a particular meeting, but not
> all meetings, or "proponent" for a particular decision/argument), then
> we're not going to have a particularly flexible or extensible mechanism
> for describing the relationships *between* people, and how they change.

Well, I do think that it's also important to focus on the more
valuable semantics... Put it this way: the semantics of space-time are
infinite, yet the semantics one needs to recreate the "gist" or the
boiled-down "meaning" of an occurrence are what's important. So while
we might include the fact that it's raining during a meeting to create
the mood -- maybe people's jackets are wet -- that's not necessarily
pertinent to the discussion, though it may help us understand why
Mary, in the role of "facilitator", kept telling Jack to be quiet.

Point is, we may not really care what the role is if we can deduce
responsibility for decisions, for what was said, for transitions.

Which is why the <cite> tag is so interesting. It assigns ownership,
so far, for something that was said.

To conclude this point -- what is the most important aspects of
meeting minutes that will actually help us time-shift a meeting -- or
even continue it -- across space and time so that as little original
meaning is lost in the translation. hCard and hCalendar are wonderful
examples of high-fidelity microformats. What component parts would
make for a high-fidelity hMinutes format?

> that's not particularly necessary for hminutes, say, but it might be in
> many other contexts: could something like xfn-extended be used to
> describe, say, the evolving dynamics between countries in historical
> terms, or between a group of high school friends as they age, or between
> actors in a play.  for that we'd need datestamps... ah, but we're far
> from our use-cases now!  ;)  anyway, thoughts; but for the moment, a
> list of hcards with roles.  :)

Again, fascinating.

If I were the United States and I wanted to use XFN to describe my
relationship to Russia, to China, to Europe, what properties would I

Furthermore, how can we show the changing nature of relationships
between people over time using microformats?

The potential ramifications for historical data is immense.

As we create the "scrolls" and "microfiche" of our generation, just
imagine what we will be able to do in 20 years when enough data is
microformatted to retell the story of our time with a simple click of
the web browser.

hMinutes should encapsulate the timeline of our existence, should it
not? Well then, what are waiting for! There's grandiousity to conquer!


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