[uf-discuss] Species microformat process

Colin Barrett timber at lava.net
Wed Jan 31 14:20:02 PST 2007

On Jan 31, 2007, at 11:06 AM, Charles Roper wrote:

>> > I also wanted to ask about the fundamental microformat principle of
>> > "paving the cowpaths" in relation to hCard. It seems to me that  
>> hCard
>> > was derived from vCard rather than being based on existing markup
>> > practice. How does this square up with the cowpaths philosophy?
>> >
>> I'll leave this to others.  However, I do think the kind of path  
>> vcard
>> took is qualitatively different than the one species is taking.
> I'm not really questioning the quality of the two approaches, but
> rather the fundamental uF principle of "paving the cowpaths." As far
> as I am aware (but please correct me if I am wrong), hCard is an
> extraction of vCard rather than an extraction of existing markup
> practice. This being the case, can other microformats, in the absence
> of existing practice, not be developed on the back of existing,
> canonical standards?

I think in the vcard and icalendar  (hCard and hCalendar) case, people  
*were* using the vcard and icalendar implementations to pass around  
data. A lot of sites were offering "download my vCard" and "subscribe  
to .ics" links.

If an existing standard is being used to mark up data, that's the  
cowpath we're going to pave; even if it's necessarily markup in HTML.  
hAtom is another good example -- people weren't marking up Atom in a  
webpage, but they were marking up documents with Atom and linking to  
them. That's another one of the goals of microformats (although I'm  
not sure if it's stated): have one place for the data.

This is all obviously a bit of a corner case, as most of the time  
content on the web is marked up with (X)HTML, but I think it's an  
important one (as hCard, hCalendar, and hAtom all started out that way).


More information about the microformats-discuss mailing list