Difference between revisions of "microformats"

From Microformats Wiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search
(aded thoughts on how microformats are different)
Line 45: Line 45:
  
 
See the [[Main_Page|main page]] for a list of current microformats specifications, drafts, and discussions.
 
See the [[Main_Page|main page]] for a list of current microformats specifications, drafts, and discussions.
 +
 +
== more thoughts on how microformats are different ==
 +
 +
There are plenty of existing formats that are *nearly* totally useless/ignored
 +
 +
They're not *totally* useless though. They're useful to see what at least somebody thought might be useful, which unfortunately is typically a lone-inventor working a-priori without any domain expertise.
 +
 +
Or there is the other extreme. Lots of corporate inventors working with plenty of experience, over-designing a format for what *might* be needed some day.
 +
 +
So we try to combat all of those problems with the microformat approach.
 +
 +
* We're not lone-inventors, we're a [http://microformats.org/discuss/ community].
 +
* We don't work a-priori, we require documentation of existing examples, previous attempts at formats. See [[process]].
 +
* When lacking domain expertise, we seek out the domain experts to provide it.
 +
* We're a mix of corporate, independent, hobbyist, enthusiast.
 +
* We don't over-design.  We under-design, deliberately, and then only add things when they are absolutely necessary.
 +
 +
Some ask what the purpose of the (intented) standards is.
 +
 +
Why do you need purpose? More often than not, premature focus on purpose tends to distort data formats towards a particular application which may not be all that relevant. Hence rather than focus on a-priori purpose, we focus on modeling existing behavior, with the knowledge that additional structure will yield plenty of interesting uses, most of which we will not be able to a-priori predict.
 +
 +
This is obviously a very different approach than traditional data format efforts.

Revision as of 21:39, 24 September 2005

microformats

What are microformats?

microformats are:

microformats are not:

  • a new language
  • infinitely extensible and open-ended
  • an attempt to get everyone to change their behavior and rewrite their tools
  • a whole new approach that throws away what already works today
  • a panacea for all taxonomies, ontologies, and other such abstractions
  • defining the whole world, or even just boiling the ocean
  • any of the above

the microformats principles

  • solve a specific problem
  • start as simple as possible
    • solve simpler problems first
    • make evolutionary improvements
  • design for humans first, machines second
    • be presentable and parsable
    • visible data is better than invisible metadata
    • adapt to current behaviors and usage patterns, e.g. (X)HTML, blogging
  • reuse building blocks from widely adopted standards
  • modularity / embeddability
    • design to be reused and embedded inside existing formats and microformats
  • enable and encourage decentralized and distributed development, content, services
    • explicitly encourage the original "spirit of the Web"

current microformats

See the main page for a list of current microformats specifications, drafts, and discussions.

more thoughts on how microformats are different

There are plenty of existing formats that are *nearly* totally useless/ignored

They're not *totally* useless though. They're useful to see what at least somebody thought might be useful, which unfortunately is typically a lone-inventor working a-priori without any domain expertise.

Or there is the other extreme. Lots of corporate inventors working with plenty of experience, over-designing a format for what *might* be needed some day.

So we try to combat all of those problems with the microformat approach.

  • We're not lone-inventors, we're a community.
  • We don't work a-priori, we require documentation of existing examples, previous attempts at formats. See The microformats process.
  • When lacking domain expertise, we seek out the domain experts to provide it.
  • We're a mix of corporate, independent, hobbyist, enthusiast.
  • We don't over-design. We under-design, deliberately, and then only add things when they are absolutely necessary.

Some ask what the purpose of the (intented) standards is.

Why do you need purpose? More often than not, premature focus on purpose tends to distort data formats towards a particular application which may not be all that relevant. Hence rather than focus on a-priori purpose, we focus on modeling existing behavior, with the knowledge that additional structure will yield plenty of interesting uses, most of which we will not be able to a-priori predict.

This is obviously a very different approach than traditional data format efforts.