[microformats-discuss] Re: Educationg Others

Scott Anderson portletdev at gmail.com
Mon Oct 3 00:58:47 PDT 2005

Tantek wrote:

> There's basically a set of "XML zealots" that actively dislike
> semantic (X)HTML, I'm not sure how else to put it.

I might be one of those individuals that you are calling an XML
zealot. I like the idea of semantic markup in XHTML but it is not
clear to me as to what (or which) problems you are trying to solve
with microformats. What type of applications and/or services do you
envision consuming these data structures? XHTML is a presentation
format so my inclination is to think that microformats will be
relegated to the domain of JavaScript.

I am looking for format definitions that are not tied to the
presentation layer so that I can effectively reuse them in the other
layers of my web application as well as within XML content
repositories, various XML descriptors, SOAP messages, Atom feeds, etc.
My XHTML will not be hand generated. However, it will be generated by
end users (designers and content providers) that know nothing of
markup languages or semantics.

I have not been able to determine if my requirements are outside the
scope of what you are trying to accomplish. On the Wiki there is a
"precise" definition of microformats that includes plain XML and Atom
as containers so I was thinking that I am in the right place. However,
your about page mentions that microformats are "highly correlated with
semantic XHTML".

Then there is this recent statement...

> 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.

This sort of arrogant ignorance is probably why us zealots have
difficulty taking your vision seriously.

> For these folks, I've learned that the only way to convince them is to go
> off and succeed with real working examples, rather than to try to spend time
> educating them.

A specification of an example application or service will suffice for
me. I can extrapolate the rest. All I see on the site and wiki is
rhetoric and hyperbole. If microformats is limited to structured
blogging then you have already lost me. In my opinion "Web
microcontent publishing in general" is a pretty useless definition.

> They don't *want* to be educated.  Heck, they don't think
> they *need* to be educated, they think they are already experts on semantic
> markup (never mind that typically none of their web pages are valid).

I think it is more likely that you have failed in your attempts to
educate others about what you are trying to achieve.

> I've just decided that my own time is better spent making
> microformats succeed rather than fighting/arguing/educating XML zealots.

What is your criteria for determining when you have made microformats a success?

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