[uf-new] hAudio case study

Manu Sporny msporny at digitalbazaar.com
Sat Sep 8 12:36:11 PDT 2007

Tantek Çelik wrote:
> While I may not necessarily agree with all the issues/points you
> raise, I want to thank you for your frank feedback, and I'm hoping
> that open documentation and resolution of such issues itself addresses
> at least some of your issues (if not most or all).

This is why we continue to work with this community - because you and
others that started it truly care about the health of the community and
continue to foster improvement and resolutions to outstanding issues.

Completely open dialog is one of the shining examples of what
differentiates Microformats from the other standards organizations. You
and the rest of the admins should be commended for managing this most
unenviable task.

Note that I don't think that drastic changes are required to address our
problems with the process and community. In fact, with RDFa in the
picture, I think that a huge part of realizing the semantic web has been
solved. Microformats will solve 80% of the semantic data markup problems
out there while RDFa can solve the remaining 20%.

Anything that makes Microformats more complicated should be scrutinized
and probably rejected... but not at the cost of ensuring greater
Microformat adoption. It is a very tough line to walk... and one that I
think the community is doing a good job of thus far.

I think the issues that have been raised would take very minor
changes to address.

>> I'd be interested to hear feedback and suggestions as this case study
>> will probably be incorporated/linked-to in a W3C document (the RDFa
>> Primer, most likely) at some point in the near future.
> The biggest feedback I have is that there are several assertions (such as
> about being "scope-less" etc.) that I think are faulty due to no fault or at
> least intent of yours, but rather due to implicit assumptions, and that
> rather than stating such assertions as fact, it may be better to state them
> as questions to be explored.

Some guidance would be good at this point. I did my best to be fair
while letting readers know about the current state of the Microformats
approach. Some have asserted that Microformats aren't scope-less... but
I have not seen evidence to the contrary. Perhaps by answering the
following questions you could help me (and others) understand why you
don't believe Microformats aren't scope-less.

Definition of Scope:

In computer programming in general, a scope is an enclosing context.
Scopes have contents which are associated with them. Various programming
languages have various types of scopes. The type of scope determines
what kind of entities it can contain and how it affects them. Depending
on its type, a scope can:

   * contain declarations or definitions of identifiers;
   * contain statements and/or expressions which define an executable
     algorithm or part thereof;
   * nest or be nested.

I guess you could argue that there are two scopes for Microformats:

 * page-scope
 * declaration-scope.

Page scope is the entire web page and this is where some of the
elemental Microformats can exist without being enclosed by hCard,
hCalendar or hAudio.

Declaration scope is the section of the HTML that is enclosed by hCard,
hCalendar or hAudio.

However, Microformats cannot differentiate between an elemental
Microformat that is supposed to be at page-scope and not
declaration-scope, correct?

When two Microformats overlap, a property can co-exist in both
Microformats, correct?

If the answer to the above two are yes, the I don't think we can call
Microformats a "scoped" approach to this syntax, can we? I know that we
can call RDFa scoped, so there is an example of something that is a
scoped semantic definition method.

Perhaps "scope-less" isn't the best word choice, but I couldn't think of
a different word choice to use. Any ideas?

-- manu

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scope_(programming)

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