[microformats-discuss] Re: Educationg Others
Dr. Ernie Prabhakar
drernie at opendarwin.org
Mon Oct 3 15:44:33 PDT 2005
On Oct 3, 2005, at 3:15 PM, Scott Anderson wrote:
> Basically, I don't want to have to support two different XML formats
> that describe the same data. I am being told that the XHTML used in
> microformats is indeed portable. Has this been demonstrated to be
> true? I have a lot of doubts that the context is portable or the
> support requirements are trivial.
> If I do need to support a secondary format that gets used to generate
> microformats in my XHTML does anyone know of a good candidate for this
> besides RDF?
I'm not sure we're even talking about the same problem. By "on the
web" we here (I think) all mean 'the human-readable web'. If your
web is the "semi-private, machine-only web of automated web
services", then we're pretty much living in different universes.
For example, If you are looking at XML as a way to, say:
- replace your existing SQL database as an internal datastore; or
- define a controlled vocabulary for machine-readable apps in a
vertical industry with good governance
then by all means, use a custom XML schema. That's not the problem
we're trying to solve here. We don't want a zillion microformats,
one for every vertical industry imaginable.
However, if you are planning to do anything involving the *mass
market* web, where HTML is *already* part of your workflow, then I
would encourage you to look at "piggybacking" microformat semantics
on top of XHTML rather than publishing a *second*, distinct, XML
output. That way, it allows anonymous consumers the chance to extract
semantic data directly from your existing web pages, rather than
having to negotiate a specific XML format.
That's all we're saying. I think. XHTML is a good format for:
a) externally-publishing data you (also) want humans to read
b) storing data that is primarily document-centric and thus maps
nicely onto HTML's native semantics
You'd be surprised how many people try to use XML for *that*, which I
suspect why Tantek and others react so strongly to what they call
"XML zealots." But, IMHO, if you are truly doing something for which
XHTML itself has zero value -- and a custom XML solves both your
technical and social problems -- then please, go for it!
-- Ernie P.
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