[uf-discuss] Definition of Microformats

David Janes davidjanes at blogmatrix.com
Wed Feb 28 02:47:29 PST 2007

On 2/27/07, Angus McIntyre <angus at pobox.com> wrote:
> At 18:57 -0600 27.02.2007, Scott Reynen wrote:
> >On Feb 27, 2007, at 5:15 PM, Angus McIntyre wrote:
> >
> >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.
> Moving away from the specific case of hRelease, I would say the following:
> 1. Early adopters who want to use structured markup should be
> encouraged, not least because that generates 'examples in the wild'
> that will guide the standards process. I think we're in agreement on
> that point.
> 2. Using the likely name of a microformat 'prematurely' or
> inconsistently is problematic (although the problems are not
> necessarily very serious) for a few reasons including:

hRelease is just an example. My point, just to underline this a little
bit more, is that we've already got a term "semantic (x)html" [1] that
covers using classes to mark up semantic elements. "microformats" are
semantic (x)html plus the process and rules (see [1] again).

This is probably something that needs to be stressed more, otherwise
the 'brand' is going to be diluted. Why is this bad? Because it
renders near meaningless all the work that has gone on here to make
sure we've got everything "just right" -- we'll see people reusing
names to mean different things, making up new names to define the same
thing, and so on and so forth.

Regards, etc...

[1] http://microformats.org/wiki/semantic-xhtml-design-principles#Semantic_XHTML_and_Microformats

David Janes
Founder, BlogMatrix

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