[uf-discuss] there appears to be a calm in the species/currency/mars storm

Benjamin West bewest at gmail.com
Tue Oct 17 15:32:58 PDT 2006

Andy, it's hard to say for sure.. I assume you are referring to the
irc logs from yesterday[1]?

I remember being in the channel at the time, so let me add some
context to the quote:
# [18:32:56] <kingryan> re the mailing list proposals...
# [18:33:01] <tantek> maybe a diagram would help ;)
# [18:33:05] <kingryan> why don't we try fixing uf-dev first and see
if that helps?
# [18:33:11] <Phae> No, it's not that complicated :P
# [18:33:16] <tantek> uf-dev is the wrong place for *new* microformats
# [18:33:18] <tantek> two problems
# [18:33:20] <kingryan> I know
# [18:33:24] <kingryan> I know
# [18:33:28] <tantek> uf-dev should be focused on code
# [18:33:28] <kingryan> but why don't we fix it?
# [18:33:32] <Phae> uf-dev is just mostly unused isn't it? I glance at
the archives sometimes and they seem short
# [18:33:38] <tantek> see uf-dev thread on that kingryan
# [18:33:48] <kingryan> it's unused because we don't let people join
# [18:33:52] <Phae> heh
# [18:33:53] <kingryan> I've read that tantek
# [18:34:02] <tantek> then reply to it
# [18:34:04] <kingryan> I'm just sayin', let's just change one
variable at a time
# [18:34:08] <tantek> if no-one objects within a day or so
# [18:34:12] <tantek> then we can make that change first
# [18:34:27] <tantek> we'll give the "new list name" discussion a bit more time
# [18:34:43] <tantek> since there appears to be a calm in the
species/currency/mars storm
# [18:34:46] <tantek> ;)
# [18:34:47] <kingryan> that's exactly what I'm proposing
# [18:34:52] <tantek> excellent
# [18:35:13] <kingryan> the "Martian currency birdstorm of 2006"
# [18:35:16] <Phae> heh
# [18:36:13] <kingryan> we'll be telling our grandkids about this someday

I think that's enough context.  A discussion about what to do about
the mailing list starts up.  A suggestion is given to continue
deliberating.  Then there are some comments, one of which you inquired
about.  I'll try to explain, if I can.

This is an exciting time for microformats.  Many exciting
implementations are being created and millions of microformats are
being published on the web.  In the midst of this is a lot of energy
and activity on the mailing list.  You might say, a "storm of
activity" or a "flurry of activity."  This is just word play, and a
common idiom in the USA.  I think the implication is that since there
appears to be a brief lull in activity, they can afford to take a bit
more time on the problem at hand.

After the comment in question, the word play and associated idioms
continue: it is common for news shows to try and dramatize certain
happenings, especially storms and such.  You'll hear things like
"Storm of '98" or "Blizzard of '05" or whatnot all the time on local
news shows.  It's so common that I believe even comedy shows have done
many parodies, involving situations like "Bee attack of '05".

To me, this is all just word play; a brief moment of levity to help
the work go more smoothly.  Some day, these technologies may be so
common that youngsters will have a hard time believing that it took
hard work and many dedicated people to triumph with the
accomplishments we are all working towards.

Tantek, Ryan, and friends, employ a vocabulary rich with all kinds of
word play and alusions.  Here are some other brief examples:
* Boiling the oceans
* 80/20
* Tower of babel
* "fidelity of data"

I also frequently make up words; the technology we are discussing has
simply never been done before, and I sometimes find (and enjoy) the
need to make up new terms.  Some of my examples include:
* virtual card sort
* ORM over the web

And more generally many people have started using terms like "web
application" and "web api."

I hope that clears things up, it can be hard to explain subtlety.   If
anyone has alternative interpretations, I'm open to correction.


[1] http://rbach.priv.at/Microformats-IRC/2006-10-16

On 10/17/06, Andy Mabbett <andy at pigsonthewing.org.uk> wrote:
> In message <jFVyINfBu9MFFwaS at pigsonthewing.org.uk>, Andy Mabbett
> <andy at pigsonthewing.org.uk> writes
> >Can anyone tell me what is meant by "there appears to be a calm in the
> >species/currency/mars storm" ?
> Surely someone must know?
> --
> Andy Mabbett
>                 Say "NO!" to compulsory ID Cards:  <http://www.no2id.net/>
>                 Free Our Data:  <http://www.freeourdata.org.uk>
> _______________________________________________
> microformats-discuss mailing list
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> http://microformats.org/mailman/listinfo/microformats-discuss

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