[microformats-discuss] Take 3 Re: Definition of "microformat" ?

Tantek Ç elik tantek at cs.stanford.edu
Sat Sep 17 12:20:34 PDT 2005

On 9/16/05 8:01 PM, "Dr. Ernie Prabhakar" <drernie at opendarwin.org> wrote:

> Hi Tantek,
> On Sep 16, 2005, at 7:14 PM, Tantek Çelik wrote:
>> On 9/16/05 1:54 PM, "Dr. Ernie Prabhakar" <drernie at opendarwin.org>
>> wrote:
>>> http://microformats.org/wiki/Main_Page#Introduction
>> This is quite good.
> Thanks!
>> The only thing I would change is the scope of "in human-readable (X)
>> documents".
>> Microformats are *built* from XHTML yes, and they can thus be *very
>> easily*
>> embedded *and* styled/presented in (X)HTML documents,
>> AND
>> since XHTML is XML, microformats can also be embedded in RSS, Atom,
>> and
>> "plain" XML as well.
> Okay, fair enough.  I changed the wiki page to;
> :in human-readable (X)HTML/XML documents
> I was tempted to do (X)[HT]ML, or {X,}{,HT}ML but that seemed overly
> silly, and _I_ couldn't even parse it...
>> This is a very important difference, as microformats are
>> essentially better
>> adapted to more publishing "environments/niches" (to continue with the
>> biological analogy) than other format "philosophies".
>> This is by design.
> Okay, but -- since you brought it up -- let me ask you _your_
> favorite question,:  Is anyone actually *doing* that -- putting
> microformats into XML?


When we ask "is anything actually *doing* that", we're talking about types
of information, not specific formats.

Your question is also a bit like asking, is anyone actually driving a 100
MPG car as a way of determining whether or not one ought to design a 100 MPG

But to answer your question on its face, there are RSS feeds with hCalendar
and hReview items.

>  Or you just solving a theoretical problem? ;-)

You didn't ask a question about a problem.  You asked a question about
existing use of a format, which is step three in the process:

 1. Define the problem (what type of content are you trying to structure and
 2. Research examples of current web pages that *visibly* publish such
content, and determine their implicit schemas.
 3. Research examples of current formats for publishing such content,
whether on the web or other mediums, especially existing interoperably
implemented standards.

Finally, embeddability isn't a "problem", it's one of the core design
principles of microformats.

We have adopted this principle explicitly due to the fact there is
widespread embedding of structured and semi-structured content in existing
web pages and feeds and published online content in general.  Thus formats
for structured and semi-structured content should be embeddable and we
design microformats as such from the start.  This is in contrast to typical
XML formats which are usually designed to be the "root" format, neglect the
embedding scenario, despite the aforementioned widespread embedding of



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