[uf-discuss] species questions; process: examples questions

Benjamin West bewest at gmail.com
Sat Oct 21 18:06:02 PDT 2006

Quick Summary:
* plant versus species?
* Purpose of *-examples?
  * Refinement?
* Suggestion: regroup by publisher, then by strategy
* Started alternative grouping and analysis.
  * Found some examples resemble tagging.

Andy's response [1] to size considerations prompted me to take a look
at the species [2] pages on the wiki.  I have a couple of questions.

Plant versus Species?
Briefly, I noticed a page for plants at
<http://microformats.org/wiki/plant>.  This was a little confusing to
me.  Is species insufficient?  I guess I don't understand the need for
both a species and a plant microformat.  Would there next be an animal

However, I did notice that the plant page had some use cases not
mentioned in species.  Will species support the kind of uses and plant
intends to?  Are there similar intents in the markup listed on the
examples [3] page as there are on the plant pages?

Purpose of Examples?
Second, I was taking a look at the examples [3] and brainstorming [4]
pages for species.  One thing that struck me was the use of class
names for each kind of information.  I wondered if people were really
using these kinds of class names already, since the strawman proposal
does.  I waltzed over to the examples [3] page and started checking
them out.

I was looking for "how is this information published?" since some
other examples pages answer that question [5] [6] [7].  I was under
the impression that the behaviour of existing publishers should inform
and perhaps even imply the schema for that kind of data.  In this way,
the market basically elects the format most likely to succeed.

The <http://microformats.org/wiki/examples> page says that a good
examples has an "Analysis of the implied schema represented by that
snippet, with at a minimum a flat list of the "fields" present in the
example snippet."  I asked Tantek for some more clarification on this.
 I'm not sure the examples page does a good job of explaining this
concept, especially how the behaviour of existing publishers should
imply a schema, which can in turn imply the names of the fields for
that schema.  Finally, armed with this knowledge, one can make
informed suggestions on what a microformat might look like.

Refinement needed?
I suggest that perhaps the examples page is lacking because my reading
of species-examples [3] left me wondering about how the behaviour of
the publishers listed led to the strawman proposal in
species-brainstorming [4].  However, it did clearly answer the
question of "Is this kind of information published?" (yes).

regroup by publisher, then by strategy
I'm prepared to help do some analysis, but the groupings are a bit
difficult to work with.  The other examples pages [5], [6], [7], are
grouped a bit differently.  In the case of citation-examples and
review-examples, the examples are grouped by publisher/standard. In
the case of blog-post-examples [7], the examples are grouped by
diferent kinds of information and their resolution.  Since there are
many kinds of resolution available for how much information you
provide to identify a species, this might be a better grouping
strategy.  Perhaps I should say grouping by "strategy" rather than
"what" is being published.

Started alternative grouping and analysis.
I'd like to regroup some things... but it's quite a bit of work, so
for now I've simply started it as an alternative grouping section at
 As a first step, perhaps we should simply organize by publisher, as
the other *-examples pages have done.

Found some examples resemble tagging.
Finally, I will breifly mention that several of the examples I looked
at (chosen by random clicking) closely resembled the behaviour of
tagging, to me.  Perhaps it would be easier and more effective to
co-opt this behaviour somehow.

There are a lot of examples, and only a few analyses, so I'm sure the
page would benefit from several people pitching in.


[1] <http://microformats.org/discuss/mail/microformats-discuss/2006-October/006656.html>
[2] <http://microformats.org/wiki/species>
[3] <http://microformats.org/wiki/species-examples>
[4] <http://microformats.org/wiki/species-brainstorming>
[5] <http://microformats.org/wiki/citation-examples>
[6] <http://microformats.org/wiki/review-examples>
[7] <http://microformats.org/wiki/blog-post-examples>

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