[uf-discuss] Regarding POSH and misuse of the microformats logo

Jeremy Keith jeremy at adactio.com
Sun May 6 04:17:57 PDT 2007

Chris Messina wrote:
> I believe that POSH should actually become it's own parallel effort to
> microformats -- and that the microformats wiki should link to external
> resources, documentation and best practices for all things POSH. Now,
> that doesn't have to happen right away, as we are still building out
> the foundational corpus of information related to POSH, but I think
> conflating microformats and POSH could end up confusing folks new to
> either concept -- and as such needs a logical and geographic
> delineation if we're to squeeze the most value out of this.

I agree completely. While I think it's okay for the microformats wiki  
page to act as a stop-gap descriptive page explaining how POSH  
relates to microformats, it should definitely not become the  
canonical home of POSH. I think it would definitely be a good idea to  
drop the last bit of this step from the process: "Encourage others to  
be POSH and POSHify their websites by linking to this page." Anyone  
mind if I go in and make that change? (Frankly, I'm not sure a  
"process" really matches the idea of POSH which is just labelling  
something that people are doing anyway. So while I see the value of  
the checklist, I think we could stand to ditch the process part)

By far the best solution here would be to split POSH into a separate  
resource on different websites (not necessarily maintained by people  
in the microformats community). As Chris said, the microformats wiki  
page on POSH should become a link list rather than a home for POSH.

Patrick Griffiths wrote:
> The fact that I think POSH is a ridiculous, unnecessary, and  
> patronising initiative aside

I think you might be missing a lot of the tongue-in-cheekiness of the  
term. Nobody thinks it's a particularly good or clever term but it's  
better than saying "not a microformat" as in when someone writes  
"I've just created my own microformat" and they are then told "no,  
what you have created is...[insert term here]"

It doesn't matter what the term itself is. If you'd rather say "a  
semantic HTML pattern", that's fine. If the term POSH dies off,  
that's fine. The term itself is unimportant. What's important is that  
people are thinking about how to create and use semantic markup  
patterns and (crucially) also realising that a semantic markup  
pattern by itself isn't a microformat.

> So I think lumping this with microformats partly defeats the point  
> - it has the potential to confuse and seemingly complicate things,  
> rather than clarify and simplify them.

No argument there. But you can see how we still need somewhere to  
point people to when we say things like "Before you start using  
microformats you should be using [insert term here]" or "What you're  
proposing doesn't need to be a microformat but it's a great example  
of [insert term here]".

Personally I think http://htmldog.com/ would be a great resource to  
point people to when they need some tutorials and references on  
semantic HTML. If you wanted to set up a disambiguation page on your  
site (including whatever personal issues you have with using the POSH  
acronym if you like) it would make a great jumping-off point for  
people who need to brush up on their meaningful markup: people who,  
as you point out, are coming to microformats too soon:

> Semantic HTML comes first, microformats after. For POSH to catch  
> on, it needs to appeal to web development (or certainly web  
> standards) newcomers. Microformats is an advanced concept - not one  
> that most beginners are going to latch on to straight away.



Jeremy Keith

a d a c t i o


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