[uf-new] The Process (was: hAudio case study)

Frances Berriman fberriman at gmail.com
Wed Sep 12 02:58:17 PDT 2007

On 11/09/2007, Manu Sporny <msporny at digitalbazaar.com> wrote:
> To us it seemed like this was an unfair argument that was thrown out
> there whenever we disagreed with somebody that was "more senior" in the
> community. The argument came across as "Well, you're just not analyzing
> the correct sites - otherwise, you'd see my point... so why don't you go
> and analyze more examples until you can prove us right". The person
> making the previous statement doesn't have to do anything to defend
> their viewpoint and the person creating the Microformat now has to spend
> tens of hours collecting more examples.
> In the end, it made hAudio better - but at the expense of frustrating
> the Microformat authors.

Yeah - that frustration is understandable, but I don't think it's easy
to say at the start of a project how much (# wise) is enough.  Perhaps
that should be iterative itself... go off and find 30, do you have
conclusive evidence... if not, find another 20..?  I wonder if review
got by with less, because there's just less data out there already?
The general idea is just to get "as many as you can" but that's almost
like saying "how long is a piece of string", I agree.

We'll have to give this one some more thought.  Does anyone else have
good ideas about how to iron this out?

> We felt that the community wasn't very upfront about these shortcomings
> of Microformats. We didn't even know that the community understood that
> Microformats had these shortcomings until we were 7 months into the
> process. I think we as a community should be very honest about what one
> can't do with Microformats.

That's fair.  I think it would be very beneficial to be upfront about
this.  After all, it'll save everyone time in the long run.  I think
devoting a page to "are microformats for you or your project?" would
be worthwhile.

> I think the best thing that the community could do at this point
> regarding the creation of new Microformats is to smooth and refine The
> Process. It is not very easy to grok until you've been through it... and
> after you go through the New Microformat meat grinder, you really don't
> want to do it again. :)

It's rigorous, but yeah, I agree... any effort to make it less
meat-grinder like and more "super fun adventure" is a good thing.  But
at the same time, it's been that harsh to prevent frivolous formats
being created.

That document is a great start.  I still have issues with using "POSH"
over simply saying "create good, semantic HTML", but I think I already
got ignored over that one. :)  Simple language and clearly defined
steps is a reasonable and achievable goal.

Frances Berriman

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