[uf-discuss] Product Data Microformat

Chris Roos chris at seagul.co.uk
Thu Mar 2 00:49:46 PST 2006

Mike Dierken wrote:
> My view on microformats are that they are used to describe 'my stuff'
> or 'my opinions about stuff'. Documents coded with microformats are
> managed by people and there is just enough balance between user
> experience needs and automation that some amount of interchange is
> possible. For a product microformat, I would imaging that it's up to
> some other system to intelligently index and merge all those documents
> into a global product authority database. That database might be
> exposed via a more strict product data format than a microformat,
> since it isn't directly managed by people.
> The different use cases I can think of are
>  - I only know about one product
>  - I don't care about other products
>  - I don't know the identifying characteristics of other products
>  - I want my product to be a unique product to avoid competition/comparisons
>  - Its too much work to figure out which particular product my product
> is equivalent to
>  - My idea of equivalence isn't compatible with other peoples (is a
> paperback copy the same as a hardback copy of the same novel?)
> (semantic equivalence - like beauty - is in the eye of the beholder)

I think part of the problem I have, getting my head around this stuff, 
is in trying to find 'real world' uses.  The use cases you have listed 
are, in my eyes, theoretical.  I wonder if you wouldn't mind providing 
some examples of where you (as an end user of a proposed product 
microformat) would want to mark up some text describing a product.

There was a post on the structured blogging list recently about someone 
having marked up a couple of (h)reviews on their blog and then asking 
what the point was.  In the case of hreview I can at least see some 
benefit (but then I'm probably biased).  As it stands I'm struggling to 
find any real uses for marking up products.


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