[microformats-discuss] XML & microformats (WAS: Take 3)

Tantek Ç elik tantek at cs.stanford.edu
Sat Sep 17 13:14:45 PDT 2005

On 9/17/05 10:14 AM, "Dr. Ernie Prabhakar" <drernie at opendarwin.org> wrote:

> On Sep 17, 2005, at 10:07 AM, Lucas Gonze wrote:
>> On 9/17/05, Dr. Ernie Prabhakar <drernie at opendarwin.org> wrote:
>>> 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.
>> If you already have an application context which uses HTML, and you
>> want to benefit from third-party hacks, microformats are the one true
>> solution.
>> The idea of replacing existing XML formats intended solely for machine
>> processing with the equivalent semantic HTML strikes me as irrational
>> exuberance.
> I'll go along with that, but I was asking a slightly different
> question (I think).   Is there any benefit to using the semantic
> tagging of microformats *directly* in XML?  For example, should the
> Atom community adopt "<link rel=tag>" or "<link rel=payment>" rather
> than, say, adding "<tag>" or "<tipjar>" fields directly?

Yes.  To begin with.

 1. Reuse of existing work on specifications etc. E.g. you avoid naming
issues, problems etc., which are quite often far more of a problem and
lengthy discussion topic than they should be.
 2. The use/introduction of fewer namespaces.  As namespaces encourage
technical/social/political silos, having fewer namespaces is better.
 3. Less work (nearly none) in moving the microformatted data around.

> My impression was that Tantek was saying  "yes", but that the market
> (so far) had said "no."

You're right that most XML technologists still prefer to create their own
namespaces and invent their own tag names, rather than reusing existing
work. That path results in an inevitable Tower of Babel of formats,
namespaces, extensions etc.

> But, I'm not even sure I'm asking the right
> question, much less whether I have the right answer -- which is why I
> brought it up.

Asking questions is the right answer. ;)



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