[uf-discuss] RDFa and microformats

Evan Prodromou evan at prodromou.name
Tue May 30 10:49:46 PDT 2006

I think that my question was misunderstood; I'm discussing a social and
organizational issue rather than a technical one. It's an issue that
very much matters to the future of microformats. Let me restate.

A W3C effort to embed RDF in HTML is not a matter of if but a matter of
when. Once such a project gains steam, it's going to cause Fear,
Uncertainty and Doubt among implementers. Competition won't help anyone
and will only serve to divide the market of developers.

I think it's possible to nip such disruptive competition in the bud.
There is still an opportunity to influence the development of the W3C
standard such that whatever is created will be backwards-compatible or
near-backwards-compatible with current microformats.org formats. That
is, such a requirement could be baked into the standard-development

I think that would be a win-win situation.

      * The W3C RDF-in-HTML effort wins by piggy-backing on growing
        microformats popularity.

      * microformats.org wins by defining a long-term future for itself.

      * Implementers win by getting the security to use de facto
        standards today with upwards compatibility with future de jure

There are other ways this situation can go; for example, the energy that
goes into the fascinating work of developing mf's and promoting their
use could instead be diverted to battling other efforts. That doesn't
seem very productive to me.


P.S. At a technical level, I think that existing uf's could be made
compatible with some as-of-yet undefined namespaced semantic XHTML
format by adding a tiny fig leaf of a namespacing URL somewhere in the
document. I don't really care where or how (<link rel="default XHTML
namespace schema">? <head profile="...">? <div new:attribute="...">?).
And I think that the onus of compatibility could easily be put on

Evan Prodromou <evan at prodromou.name>

More information about the microformats-discuss mailing list