Never underestimate the usefulness of human-readable data. (was Re: [uf-discuss] Non-HTTP/HTML microformats)

Kevin Marks kmarks at
Thu Dec 1 03:11:57 PST 2005

On Nov 30, 2005, at 11:14 PM, Tantek Çelik wrote:

> On 11/30/05 4:55 PM, "Ryan King" <ryan at> wrote:
>> Never underestimate the usefulness of human-readable data.
> Ryan, this is an excellent point, and I feel like something that needs 
> to be
> added to that other blog-post-in-progress based on the last discussion 
> of
> "The tools will save us" (NOT!) that we had on the list.
> There is SO MUCH evidence (like the examples you just gave) for the
> usefulness of making data formats be human-readable that it really 
> makes you
> wonder why so many otherwise intelligent people keep wanting to do
> otherwise.

Well, there is a second distinction here. XML folks would argue that 
their data is human readable too, and describing the Box Model Hack as 
human-readable only works for a sufficiently narrow definition of 

However the key point with using HTML for the microformats, is that 
everyone has a viewer for the data, so they don't need to parse it by 
eye, as it were.

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