[uf-discuss] Plants Microformat

Chris Messina chris.messina at gmail.com
Fri Mar 24 16:02:19 PST 2006

Skipping back a few posts...

On 3/23/06, Scott Reynen <scott at randomchaos.com> wrote:
> On Mar 23, 2006, at 8:31 PM, Breton Blake Slivka wrote:
> > My thought is that it's a very specific microformat, which sort of
> > bucks the trend of very broadly applicable microformats thus far
> > defined and set as "official" specifications on microformats.org.
> First two microformat principles:
> * solve a specific problem
> * start as simple as possible
> This looks to me like a good candidate for a microformat, generally
> in line with both the principles and the process.

I agree that a plant microformat fits the principles -- sure, we're
humans and care about hCards first, but why not hPlant?

Regardless, it's up to Mark to actually undertake this work on the
wiki -- so long as he follows the existing practices and principles, I
don't see any detriment to the community for niche formats to crop up,
especially when they introduce new or interesting challenges for using
hypertext to consistently store and represent complex sets of data.

So reading over this thread, I had the following "Ah has" (most are
obvious, but they seem useful in this conversation):

* Microformats provide a means for transferring data between
lowest-common-denominator clients (i.e. web browsers).
* Microformats ought be simple, memorable and modular; they should
also be content agnostic. Therefore, so long as there are plausible
use cases and enough behavior to study, content should not be a
deciding factor about whether a microformat ought be investigated or
* Lastly, the goal of any microformats should also be designed to
identify data outside of its original context. For example, marking up
a birthday with the appropriate hCard classes is meaningless without
an FN (this is represented in a format's rules). Therefore, it is
interesting to approach the design or investigation of a microformat
from the data-identification standpoint (i.e. "what is this data that
I'm looking at now that it's a new context?").

Anyway, as I said, these things may be obvious, but they further
helped me realize that microformats are not about content and should
not avoid nichefication. Microformats are about sharing data between
sources -- using conventional and highly available tools.

Ok, I'm done. Carry on!


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