[uf-discuss] Definition of Microformats

Frances Berriman fberriman at gmail.com
Wed Feb 28 01:54:52 PST 2007

On 28/02/07, Angus McIntyre <angus at pobox.com> wrote:

> To expand briefly on (b) above, imagine a naive developer who has
> heard about the wonderful new microformat hThing. They find a Thing
> marked with the class="hThing", open it up in a text editor and say
> "Ah, so that's how it's done.". They then reproduce the structure in
> their documents. Unknown to them, the page was drawn up by an early
> adopter using their notion of what hThing might later turn out to be.
> When ThingBot, the Thing Crawler (tm) totally ignores Mr/Ms Naive
> Developer's page, s/he will be frustrated. "But I used hThing!"
> "They should have read the spec", you say. In an ideal world, they
> would, but in a less-than-ideal world, there's still an interest in
> trying to encourage as many examples of good practice as possible,
> for the benefit of those who don't read specs (and - by extension -
> for the benefit of everyone who stands to profit from use of
> microformats, which is all of us).

Just as a slight aside - this tends to be what happens anyway.  Even
when learning and writing simple HTML, most people do that by looking
at examples in the wild.  There's only a small percentage of people
using (X)HTML 1.0, for example, that ever read the spec cover to
cover.  Most later discover their problems with validation and use
error messages to point them in the right direction.

So I think my vague point is that people will learn from examples
anyway - whether they be based on good examples, out-dated examples,
or simply wrong/incorrectly implemented examples of current
microformats specifications.  There's a certain degree of education
that'll have to happen with adoption.

Having said that - yes, I do agree that we should encourage as many
accurate implementations as possible, of course!

Frances Berriman

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