[microformats-discuss] microformats and semantic HTML best practices

Ryan King ryan at technorati.com
Wed Sep 7 02:43:57 PDT 2005

On Sep 5, 2005, at 2:23 AM, Danny Ayers wrote:
> On 9/4/05, Bryan J Busch <bryanjbusch at gmail.com> wrote:
>> Or, when the time came to build the application that would index such
>> pages, would it necessarily be upgraded to the status of microformat,
>> or would it not even matter?
> IMHO, that depends on one single thing - the existence of a profile
> URI in the documents.
> I agree 100% with the practice of reusing existing formats wherever
> possible, but feel the "don't do this alone" attitude is unnecessary
> and potentially counter-productive in a global environment.

Cooperation can always be helpful, especially when you're trying to  
develop something that you might want others to use.

> Interoperability should and can be enabled by working from the same
> base specifications, not through any potentially exclusive community
> process.

There is no desire nor need for exclusivity.

> The exclusivity may not be intentional -  for example,
> someone who doesn't speak English may be able to make sense of the
> specs, but may have trouble with the nuances of discussion on this
> list.


> The Web works because it supports decentralised development and
> document publication. More specifically, one of the reasons HTTP+HTML
> work is because the use of URIs as names ensures clears partitioning
> of the Web space.
> Microformats support effectively the same kind of partitioning through
> the use of profile URIs. Even if I were to ignore existing formats and
> developed something that fulfilled the same purpose and reused the
> same class names as  e.g. hCard, it needn't break anything. If I
> included a profile URI that made clear it wasn't hCard, and didn't
> include hCard, in practice that should be enough. To be 100% certain
> it'd probably be advisable to also avoid any of the other microformats
> that have interdependencies defined with hCard. Ok, a blatant
> reinvention approach would be far from desirable, but I believe it's
> important for it to be possible.

It is certainly feasible technologically. Still not desirable.

> My own interests are mostly around Semantic Web tech, and those
> technologies work because they support decentralised development and
> data publication. That brings in the creation of the vocabularies, the
> data schemas used to express the data. People can develop these
> independently because the languages (URIs, XML+namespaces, RDF) are
> designed to allow interoperability. The base level for the interop is
> that the vocabularies are partitioned off from each other through
> namespaces. Using GRDDL, microformats can be mapped directly to RDF
> vocabularies and their independence assured by namespace partitioning
> (and careful XSLT writing ;-)
> I'm certainly not suggesting that community development is a bad
> thing, rather that it shouldn't be (and isn't) necessary for
> interoperable data.

I think its far easier to involve the community earlier, rather than  
later. That's not to say that every discussion must be public, just  
that its nice to get people involved and participating as early as  

Ryan King
ryan at technorati.com

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