[uf-discuss] Species microformat process

Colin Barrett timber at lava.net
Fri Feb 2 04:20:00 PST 2007

On Feb 1, 2007, at 7:31 AM, Charles Roper wrote:

> What does the community feel should be the focus for species at
> present? Now that I know that the analysis of existing practice is
> about the existing *content* rather than existing *markup*,

That's not entirely true. Existing markup plays a large role in what  
is published. Obviously it's not all going to be standardized, but if  
there are some common class names and general structure that is used,  
that may be taken into consideration, especially a case where, unlike  
hcard and hcalendar, there isn't already a commonly used format with a  
spec already written out. In a case like that, existing markup becomes  
very important.

The main idea right now would be to be discussing things on the  
brainstorming page. Read over Andy's strawman, debate it. If need be,  
draw up another draft, and another, until you can reach some kind of  
consensus amongst the interested parties. It may be relevant to "check  
in" with this list from time to time, but by and large people who are  
interested should be going to and talking on, the relevant wiki pages.

If I've gotten any of the above paragraph wrong, list, feel free to  
jump in.

> I'm less
> inclined to say the existing proposal is *over*complex. Sure, it looks
> complex to the untrained eye because the taxonomic hierarchy *is*
> complex, but then so is the full hCard spec. My own view is that
> because species is an extraction of the existing Linnaen taxonomic
> hierarchy ...
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linnaen_taxonomy
> ... its complexity is justified, surely?
> I'm still able to be persuaded either way on this one, though, should
> a compelling argument arise.

You might want to consider writing up a document that explains some of  
the choices you made to someone with only passing (high school level)  
knowledge of taxonomy. Are there other taxonomical systems? Why did  
you chose this one? How standard is it? Are people using any informal  
standards that might be more widespread? If they are, why did you  
reject them?

I know some of those questions are answered on the Wikipedia, and I'm  
not even sure that this list is the right place to post those answers  
to be posted, as well.

It might be helpful to add something like that to the microformats  
process itself -- I think it could be a helpful tool for specification  
writers to make them think about the document they're writing a little  
harder about exactly what they're doing.


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