[microformats-discuss] Re: Educationg Others

Ryan King ryan at technorati.com
Mon Oct 3 14:23:37 PDT 2005

On Oct 3, 2005, at 1:09 PM, Scott Anderson wrote:
> On 10/3/05, Ryan King <ryan at technorati.com> wrote:
>> On Oct 3, 2005, at 12:58 AM, Scott Anderson wrote:
>>> 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.
>> Problems which involve the distributed publishing and consumption of
>> information.
>> (purposely vague, we'll know the limits when we hit them)
> Which problems relating to the publishing and consuming of content
> would be better solved through the use of XHTML and microformats than
> a solution based on the Atom syndication and publishing formats.

Assuming this is a question sans question mark....

As someone (Danny or Ernie, I think) in this thread has already  
pointed out... there are many cases where data is *already being  
published in (x)html* - microformats are a way of making that data  
explicit and, therefore, consumable without introducing a second  
public representation of the data.

>>> 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 beg to differ. XHTML is a structured document format. The fact that
>> browsers have default renderings for it is a wonderrul convenience,
>> but by no means necessary for the documents to be used.
> In my opinion XHTML would need to be enhanced by much more than
> microformats for it to become useful as a general XML document format.

Who said "general xml document format"? Not I.

> I think trying to overload the format to handle different type of
> applications will increase its complexity while decreasing its utility
> for each application domain.

Of course, though, each extension can be independent of others.

>>>> 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.
>> I wouldn't call Tantek ignorant. XML has largely failed *on the web.*
> Atom is XML
> WML is XML
> What non-XML formats have succeeded?

Plain text. HTML. CSS. Windows Media (ewww!), Quicktime. JPG. GIF. PNG?

>> I can sketch out an application for you, if you like, but building
>> applications has, so far, not been our focus around here. Mostly,
>> though, microformats can be seen as a way to enhance current
>> applications- this is esp. true, since we try to model the
>> development of microformats around current behavior.
> I think it would be very useful if you could sketch out an example of
> how microformats could typically be used to enhance current
> applications.

A quick example of something that's already happened:

upcoming.org implemented hcalendar and hcard in about 45 minutes. Now  
you can use X2V (http://suda.co.uk/projects/X2V/) to extract all that  
information in iCal and vCard.


Ryan King
ryan at technorati.com

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