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

Breton Slivka zen at zenpsycho.com
Mon Jun 30 16:49:41 PDT 2008

On Tue, Jul 1, 2008 at 3:11 AM, Ben Ward <lists at ben-ward.co.uk> wrote:
> I'd like to make a very important point.
> On 30 Jun 2008, at 10:38, Breton Slivka wrote:
>> if you violate #1, Tantek steps
>> in and says you can't do that. Since it's difficult to overcome the
>> influence and authority of Tantek in this community, comprimising #3
>> is the only way you can go. Otherwise the argument is just going to go
>> around in circles forever.
> To quote the wiki:
>  "Microformats are not controlled by any individual or organization"
>> http://microformats.org/wiki/microformats#microformats_are_not
> Disagreement within community members is always likely, such is the nature
> of community. At this point in this community's life, no one person is more
> important than another, and if that were ever to be the case, the community
> and the effort of microformats generally will suffer greatly.
> When someone says you 'can't' do something, it's likely in the context of
> the microformats principals. Someone saying 'no' cannot be backed up only by
> their reputation and stature. 'Citation needed', is perhaps the most
> succinct requirement.
> The most worrying thing about this message is that anyone should perceive
> the direction of this community as being dictated by one personality's
> viewpoint. That is not the case, and the microformats effort will fall apart
> if it ever was. To make decisions pre-emptively out of this misperception is
> not going to lead us to the best solutions.
> Additionally, it may well be that we're dealing with a problem right now
> calls for an exception to a principal. I'm not aware that we've ever
> consciously made exceptions before, so there's no precedent. As such, the
> justification for and the scope of such exception needs to be _very clearly
> documented_ and approached thoroughly. The justification for making an
> exception needs to be held to very careful scrutiny.
> B

Yes, I know that's the party line, but vehemantly insisting on the
truth of such an assertion does not make it true. Are you seriously
suggesting that there are cases where someone has proposed a solution
involving information hiding, and Tantek HASN'T stepped in, and
immediately put an end to all conversation along those lines? If there
is such a case, I'm quite curious to see it, and I'm also quite
curious to see what else must have stepped in the way to put an end to
that line of solutions.

Yes, restriction #1, "no information hiding" is a "microformats
community principle", but it's quite obviously Tantek's baby, and in
the past, it's primarily been Tantek who has enforced that rule, and
Tantek's enforcement has been effective. If this reality disrupts your
rose colored idealistic view of the microformats community, well, I
can't help you. You haven't stated a particularly compelling case.
You've only recited community dogma.

That said, I actually agree with the rule, and I'm glad it's being
enforced, and I don't mind that it happens to be Tantek that's
enforcing it. It's a good rule, and I understand the reasoning behind
it. All I'm saying is that if we're not going to hide information, and
we're not going to make things difficult for humans reading the
microformat, or humans writing the microformat, violating restriction
#3 is the *ONLY* way to go, until someone happens to pull a magic
bullet out of the air. But I'm honestly not holding out hope. If
nobody wants to violate Rule #1, and nobody wants to violate Rule #2,
we're going to have to make bulkier more complicated parsers.

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