[uf-discuss] Authority (was: Text::Microformat - a uf parser for
scott at randomchaos.com
Sat Apr 28 12:19:25 PDT 2007
On Apr 27, 2007, at 9:54 AM, Keith Grennan wrote:
>> I agree. I really hope "microformat" won't turn into just another
>> term for "semantic HTML." Clear communication is difficult enough
>> already without additional ambiguity.
> I think it already has.
Of the mentions of "microformats" I see outside this community, I
think those that mean "semantic HTML" are probably around 20% and
those that mean "semantic HTML standards developed through the
microformats process" (i.e. what we generally mean around here) are
closer to 80%. So I'm still hopeful that we can retain a term that
means the latter in common use.
> It's like Adobe trying to control how people use the word 'photoshop'.
I'm confident "Adobe Photoshop" will still work when I need a term to
refer to that particular piece of software, regardless of how often I
use "photoshop" as a more generic verb. I'm not as confident
"microformat" will still work when I need a term to refer to
standards created through the microformats process. So I think the
latter is actually a problem, whereas the former is just trademark
lawyers with too much time on their hands.
> You end up with single interest group that keeps repeating "That thing
> your refer to is not actually FooBar - these are the real FooBars over
> here". But no one else cares, because people will use language to
> their needs.
I completely agree that language can't be controlled, but as the
community most actively using the term "microformat," I think we're
in a good position to influence what people understand it to mean, if
we care to try.
> As the popularity of the term microformat grows, you might have to
> for higher ground that's easier to defend.
We may. Unfortunately there are enough people who interpret
"microformat" to mean more than Semantic HTML, that even high ground
would still leave a lot of room for confusion.
> Because really, who wants to
> spend their time and energy being language police?
Not me. But if someone is using a term in a way that doesn't make
sense to me, and I want to communicate with them, I don't see
alternative to saying "This is what I understand 'microformat' to
mean. You seem to be describing something different." I can't
prevent people from calling cats "dogs" either, but I'm certainly
going to say something when it happens.
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