[uf-discuss] Definition of Microformats

Scott Reynen scott at randomchaos.com
Tue Feb 27 16:57:38 PST 2007

On Feb 27, 2007, at 5:15 PM, Angus McIntyre wrote:

>> On 2/27/07, David Janes <davidjanes at blogmatrix.com> wrote:
>> Reading closely, it's not an announcement of hRelease itself, but the
>> announcement of an attempted use of hRelease to mark up a press
>> release[1]. It also notes that hRelease is not even a draft, and  
>> links to
>> the microformats.org process...
> If people start using microformats before they've even made it into  
> draft
> stage, that's going to litter the web landscape with parser-breaking
> instances of things that don't conform to whatever the final standard
> turns out to be, but which are marked as if they did.

We're trying to model publishing behaviors, not change them and  
certainly not restrict them.  If someone publishes something that  
doesn't match a microformat standard, parsers should be able to deal  
with that by checking for valid data.  We should be actively  
*encouraging* experimentation with publishing meaningful HTML.   
Meaningful HTML is never litter; it all adds to a more semantic web.   
Meaningfulness is not defined by microformats.  We have no monopoly  
on these ideas, and pretending we do is harmful.

> While that might encourage parser builders to make their parsers  
> robust,
> it's probably not a good thing overall.

It is a good thing overall.  What's not a good thing is this notion  
that people need some sort of approval from us to use more  
descriptive markup.  That idea prevents people from doing the sort of  
experiments that lead to a better understanding of HTML semantics and  
it makes them resent this community for its imaginary control over  
the web.  Calling something a microformat that isn't really a  
microformat might be a problem, but it's a relatively low priority  
compared to discouraging publishers from using better markup.  We  
should be absolutely clear that no one needs permission to change  
their HTML markup.


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