[uf-new] Microformat for Music Downloads

Scott Reynen scott at makedatamakesense.com
Wed Mar 14 05:38:45 PST 2007

On Mar 14, 2007, at 4:17 AM, Andy Mabbett wrote:

> In message <378A9FDC- 
> E005-4E9B-8904-7F6850D5CD63 at makedatamakesense.com>, Scott Reynen  
> <scott at makedatamakesense.com> writes
>>>> I'm not even convinced we need to worry about album in the    
>>>> first draft.
>>> Have you collected any examples to inform this opinion?
>> Which opinion?  Starting as simple as possible is a microformats  
>> principle, so I hope you're not questioning that.
> By that argument, hCard might not have included anything other than  
> name and e-mail address.

In that case, reusing an existing standard was the simplest  
alternative, or at least believed to be.  The same is true of  
hCalendar and hAtom.  Though none of those are actually published as  
full 1-to-1 relationships to the original standard (because the  
original standard does more than is necessary to solve most real- 
world problems), having a well-established standard as a reference  
point makes adoption simpler.  If we have an equivalent well- 
established standard for music downloads, we should consider doing  
the same.

> "Adapt to current behaviors and usage patterns" is also a  
> "microformats principle.

Right.  And as those behaviors change to include new microformats, we  
should re-evaluate each format.  We can always add fields later, but  
we can't really take them away.

> If there is evidence that many music upload sites list album  
> titles, why should that not be included as an optional field in the  
> relevant microformat?

If there is such evidence, I agree we should defer to it.  I  
personally don't see a lot of albums in the examples.  "Start as  
simple as possible" implies there's a problem we're starting to  
solve.  Obviously doing nothing is the simplest course of action, but  
that doesn't solve the problem.  So we look at the examples to see  
what is needed.  But we don't add everything we see in the examples,  
just the bare minimum to solve the problem for most use cases.  This  
is explicitly stated on the music-examples page, taken straight from  
the process:


"Simple and minimalist. As simple as possible."

I'm very surprised to find this is a point of contention among people  
who have been involved in microformats for so long.  While I didn't  
express a firm opinion on inclusion of album, my first pass through  
the examples suggests it isn't a prevalent field.  I expect to be  
updating that impression as the examples become more detailed and  
organized.  I didn't intend to start a series of speculation before  
an implied schema is taken from the examples.  This was all in direct  
response to the statement: "(It'll get more complicated soon  
enough!)"  Getting more complicated is neither desirable nor  
inevitable.  Whether or not it's necessary in this case remains to be  

Scott Reynen

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