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

Chris Messina chris.messina at gmail.com
Sun May 6 23:20:06 PDT 2007

On 5/6/07, Patrick H. Lauke <redux at splintered.co.uk> wrote:
> Frances Berriman wrote:
> > This is kind of why I have a problem with the "POSH" thing.
> >
> Also, from a marketing perspective, I'd posit that "plain" and "old" are
> probably not the best terms to sex up and sell the idea.

Except that that's the precise goal that we're trying to achieve...!
We don't want *new* formats... we want to get folks in the habit and
mindset of using HTML the way it was meant to be used.

As for using existing resources like SimpleQuiz, I went through the
collection of quizzes and some of those answers are already out of
date! I think what we need to do is redouble our efforts -- to go back
with all the knowledge and wisdom we've gained in the developments of
microformats and start thinking about how these basic formats fit into
the larger body of -- I won't use the acronym -- *meaningful markup*
(borrowed from Molly.com).

Now, if you want to call it something else, as Jeremy said, go for it.
I'm not wedded to the acronym, but I also don't want to waste my time
sitting around trying to come up with a committee-approved term that
helps the pill of "semantic markup" go down a little more easily.

To quote Todd Sieling of Ma.gnolia: Let's focus on outcomes and not
outputs -- let's not get bogged down with the term when clearly our
work on spreading semantic best practices has just begun:


Now, I want to make one final point.

If it were possible, I'd say that we could go ahead and just stick
with the "HTML" acronym -- plenty of people still don't know what that
means and we could obviously benefit from its widespread use. The
problem with that approach however, as with a term like microformats
-- is that there were already certain guidelines and principles
established that weren't followed originally. You look at the HTML
spec and nowhere does it talk about using blockquote for indenting
your text or using tables for layout. Similarly, in the
microformats-creation process, there's an *explicit* prohibition on
creating new microformats... and yet, that's been by and large where
people have wanted to contribute most often.

I would suggest that we move beyond just the term POSH -- which itself
is arguably lacking -- and starting talking about POSH Patterns (and
POSH formats ... i.e. microformats). I think the addition of
"patterns" helps hone in on what we're talking about and helps move
directly into answering the question "what is a POSH Pattern?" rather
than simply answering "What is POSH and why is it called that?"


Chris Messina
Citizen Provocateur &
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