[microformats-discuss] Web 2.0: Abused

Tantek Ç elik tantek at cs.stanford.edu
Sun Oct 2 13:07:00 PDT 2005

On 10/1/05 6:50 PM, "Dimitri Glazkov" <dimitri.glazkov at gmail.com> wrote:

> I would be interested to see list's opinion on this article:
> http://www.digital-web.com/articles/writing_semantic_markup/

For the most part this article could have been written in 1999 or 2000.
There is nothing new there except for the mention of microformats.

This is the same tired "let's all do brand new XML for semantics!" proposal
that was pitched and has effectively failed on the web, *except* for RSS,
which took nearly 10 years to get adopted.

Note that the authors of that article complain that some folk abuse XHTML,
while completely omitting the fact that plenty of RSS abuse also exists (at
Technorati, we see *numerous* examples of mis-marked-up feeds -- feed soup
if you will).  Not very scientific, or perhaps they just lack the data.

Also note that the authors of that article didn't bother to look into
microformats even enough to learn that there is a format for representing
people (hCard) which is *far* more semantic than <author> or <dc:creator>,
neither of which allow a computer to understand first name vs. last name

Not everyone has figured out that "plain" XML has failed (with the
exceptions of RSS and XHTML) on the Web, and thus on its way down and out as
something that is seriously considered, expect to see more and more
desperate "last ditch" efforts to promote it like this article, and in fact,
there will always be a few individuals pushing it.

The best response to articles like this for the microformats community is
to ignore them (except for valid criticisms, see below) and just continue
successfully developing/publishing/using microformats.

You defeat your critics by taking their criticisms as input for improvement,
working hard, and succeeding, not by wasting time debating their criticisms.
Once you've succeeded, plenty of other folks will stand up and argue your
critics.  On the other hand, if you get drawn into spending all your time on
theoretical arguments, you inevitably fail.

As Rohit is fond of saying, we know microformats work in practice, now we
just have to figure out if they work in theory. ;)



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