[uf-discuss] Process to handle decentralized creation of new microformats?

Tantek Ç elik tantek at cs.stanford.edu
Sun Oct 1 14:24:39 PDT 2006

On 10/1/06 8:37 AM, "Bruce D'Arcus" <bdarcus.lists at gmail.com> wrote:

> On 10/1/06, Costello, Roger L. <costello at mitre.org> wrote:
>> There are lots of really smart people on this list.  There must be a
>> solution.  Can you think of a process for allowing a decentralized
>> creation of microformats, without the ensuing chaos alluded to above?
> This goes back to the suggestion that has come up on this list in the
> past (but which got shot down) that it'd make sense to have some
> cooperation between this community and the related RDF/A and embedded
> RDF efforts.

Semantic XHTML has been widely adopted by the web design and development

Microformats simply builds upon that established practice that predates

Both RDF/A nor embedded RDF are still science projects.  If the web design
community shows a critical mass interest in them, then we can re-evaluate
them.  Until them, both such efforts are a waste of our time, or to put it
plain and simply, much lower priority than many more practical tasks and
efforts that we have in front of us.


> I personally don't think you can have decentralized development that
> scales without two technical prerequisites: a clear and consistent
> model and namespaces.

We should be documenting and addressing anything that is not clear nor
consistent, whenever you see such issues, please raise them, briefly here,
and perhaps on the *-issues page for the respective microformat(s).

Namespaces however are nothing more than an enabler of silos.  They cause
*far* more problems (especially socially) than they solve.

> And without those two things, microformats are
> going to hit a wall.

Then let us find that wall.  I'm not afraid of a problem we don't have.

In other ways, this is also a non-problem.

As was discussed very early in the history of microformats, if there are
hundreds of microformats, we've actually failed.

One of the goals of microformats is to keep the total number down to a
minimum.  Many microformats proposals/efforts themselves will fail.  A
relatively small core number of microformats that are universally/globally
applicable will succeed.  The market will determine which are which.  The
total set may morph over time, but at some point we will see a tapering off
of the creation of new widely applicable microformats, and that's a good

The obvious question that will come up is what then?  And to that I'll only
say we'll cross that bridge when we get to it.

Until then, everybody has a choice of two paths.  Don't worry about it and
work on solving immediate practical problems, OR, worry about it, and work
on solving theoretical meta-format problems (the so-called boiling the
ocean).  There are plenty of folks working on the latter.  This community is
focusing on the former.



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