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

Tantek Ç elik tantek at cs.stanford.edu
Sat Sep 17 12:34:49 PDT 2005

On 9/17/05 9:37 AM, "Dr. Ernie Prabhakar" <drernie at opendarwin.org> wrote:

> Hi Ryan,
> On Sep 17, 2005, at 2:53 AM, Ryan King wrote:
>> On Sep 16, 2005, at 8:01 PM, Dr. Ernie Prabhakar wrote:
>>> Okay, but -- since you brought it up -- let me ask you _your_
>>> favorite question,:  Is anyone actually *doing* that -- putting
>>> microformats into XML?  Or you just solving a theoretical
>>> problem? ;-)
>> Everyone who puts rel-tag in a blog post, for example.
> Touche!  But, let me push a little deeper.  Isn't that usually done
> by embedding the tag in the HTML description?

I'm sure you meant the RSS description element.

And yes, that's typically where it makes sense to embed structured content
because that's where it is most often visible. We prefer publishing visible
data whenever possible instead of invisible metadata.

> So, is it really just
> a microformat embedded in HTML, where the HTML happens to also be
> embedded in XML?

That's often the case as well.

> I'm not trying to be annoying (though that's a welcome side-effect :-
> P);

Understood.  :)

> I actually am unclear whether microformats -- at least as
> implemented so far -- are of genuine (direct) use to people who write
> 'straight' XML,

Are there people who religiously write 'straight' XML?  And for what

The primary utility of microformats in "plain" XML is reduction in content
transforms between processing and publication.

> or only those who care about human-readable HTML.

Those who publish on the web care about human-readable *content*.  HTML, in
the loosest sense, does certainly dwarf all other formats on the web.

> I do believe microformats *are* incredibly useful -- I'm just (still)
> trying to get my head around -which- problems it is truly useful for,
> so I neither sell them short nor over-hype them.

That's a good balance to take, especially since microformats are a relative
newcomer, and we the community are still figuring them out.

Nonetheless, numerous publishers and developers have experienced quick and
useful successes with several existing microformats (e.g. XFN, rel-tag,
hCard, hCalendar), thus in the court of the market, there does appear to be
already be sufficient evidence to merit pursuing microformats.



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