[uf-discuss] Search on CSS element (was: Making Microformats Searchable)

Nir Yariv niryariv at gmail.com
Mon Jan 22 09:09:21 PST 2007

> Last week in Boston we were discussing Pingerati and "how do you find
> microformats" (in general). One passing idea I had was that search
> engines should supply a CSS element selector. So for example, to find
> Tantek's hCard we could search "tantek css:vcard". Neatly, this shows
> one of the great benefits of microformats -- by working in HTML data
> world, we gain the benefits of existing tools but still work with
> data.

Opting for a solution that requires changes on the search engine side
(eg, crawling CSS files) might not be the best path, IMHO. It means
relying on search engines on several points:

1. Motivation - while by definition everyone reading this is
interested in Microformats, I don't know how many people working on
search engines are even aware of MFs.

2. Implementation - once the motivation is there, you're relying on
different search engines to implement the standard correctly and
completely. (Admittedly, it won't be hard to implement. But big
companies occasionally like to put their own spin on standards...)

3. Sharing -  above reasons by nature will limit the number of engines
which will support the MF search. This increases the vulnerability of
MF-search based apps to moves like Google's recent SOAP API

In any case, if we're already asking publishers to modify their
output, I think it would be more likely to catch on if it provides
instant results, by working with existing search engines.


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