[uf-discuss] Microformats and RDFa not as far apart as previously thought

Michael Smethurst Michael.Smethurst at bbc.co.uk
Wed Jun 25 02:28:04 PDT 2008


Apologies for not joining this thread earlier but my machine's been on the

Anyway, just wanted to say it was never my / our intention to fan the flames
of any uf vs rdfa skirmish.

I've posted a follow up note here:


that hopefully gives a little more context.

To be double clear the issue at hand is about the accessibility of the
datetime abbreviation design pattern (although I suppose the geo microformat
would run into similar problems). It's still possible to use both hCalendar
and the abbreviation design pattern on bbc.co.uk. What's been banned is the
use of non-human-readable data in the title attribute of the abbreviation
element. We do realise that hCalendar can be used without the ADP - but in
this case none of the alternatives work for /programmes either.

On the ufs / rdfa front I'm sure the two can coexist peacefully. Without
wanting to drag myself any further into the mire and without wanting to
sound too much like an old hippy I'm also sure that the two communities
working together would benefit all.

So apologies for any consternation caused. Hope it all works out soon.


On 24/6/08 17:03, "Manu Sporny" <msporny at digitalbazaar.com> wrote:

> There have been some interesting blog posts by people at the BBC,
> Mozilla and W3C about Microformats and RDFa in the past two days. The
> first covers BBC's decision to drop support for the abbr-based design
> pattern written by Michael Smethurst (who worked with this community on
> hAudio among other things):
> Removing abbr-based Microformats from BBC
> http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/radiolabs/2008/06/removing_microformats_from_bbc.sh
> tml
> The second is a response from John Resig, of jQuery/Mozilla fame, here:
> BBC Removing Microformat Support
> http://ejohn.org/blog/bbc-removing-microformat-support/
> The third is written by Mark Birbeck, who is the guy that proposed RDFa
> several years ago and is the primary one behind the processing rules and
> architecture for RDFa:
> Microformats and RDFa are not as far apart as people think
> http://internet-apps.blogspot.com/2008/06/microformats-and-rdfa-are-not-as-far
> .html
> We've had discussions that parallel the ones above last summer:
> http://microformats.org/discuss/mail/microformats-new/2007-July/000592.html
> http://microformats.org/discuss/mail/microformats-discuss/2007-October/010850.
> html
> http://microformats.org/discuss/mail/microformats-discuss/2007-October/010859.
> html
> http://microformats.org/discuss/mail/microformats-discuss/2007-October/010879.
> html
> I tend to agree with Edd Dumbill's post:
> http://times.usefulinc.com/2008/06/24-uf-rdfa
> Some are moving too quickly to dismiss both Microformats AND RDFa - the
> two communities are cross-pollinating and there has been significant
> lessons learned from both approaches. If you're going to blog about this
> or discuss it - please don't fuel the Microformats vs. RDFa fire by
> picking sides... it's detrimental to both communities.
> Like Edd stated in his post, we have a bug that we need to fix (abbr
> design pattern causing screen reader usability issues) and that has been
> hanging over our heads for some time now. BBC's decision is a lesson
> learned but is in no way some sort of sign that Microformats is on it's
> way out.
> Thoughts from the community? Anybody else blogging about this?
> -- manu

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