Not all semantic HTML is a microformat (Was: [uf-discuss] [Zen of Microformats] Two Fundamental Principles of Information Design)

Ian Davis lists at
Thu Mar 8 16:00:49 PST 2007

On 08/03/2007 21:55, Scott Reynen wrote:
> On Mar 8, 2007, at 2:26 PM, Ian Davis wrote:
>> This means there's a limit to the scalability of the mf development 
>> process.
> Yes, there is.  I think that's made pretty clear on the about page:
>> microformats are not:
>> ...
>> - infinitely extensible and open-ended
>> ...
>> - a panacea for all taxonomies, ontologies, and other such abstractions
>> - defining the whole world, or even just boiling the ocean

Yes I understand that. I don't think 10 people collaborating to agree on 
a way of expressing information they care about in an interoperable 
fashion in HTML is ocean boiling. Even if there are 500 such groups, 
that's still not ocean boiling. That's decentralisation and empowerment.

>> Has anyone here heard of it, evaluated it or have an opinion on it? 
>> Its development followed the mf principles with an extensive survey of 
>> existing practice and a distillation of that into a set of common and 
>> reasonably humanly accessible terms.
> That's the semantic HTML aspect of the microformats process, but there's 
> more to it than that.  For example, early in the process is this sentence:
>> We want to involve all interested parties in the discussion.
> That doesn't seem to have been followed in  It 
> looks like the work of only one person.  

True, one person was responsible for writing the document, but there was 
wider involvement from the collection description community. Anyone on 
the microformats list interested in collection description? Maybe there 
are some librarians or archivists. If there aren't then it appears to be 
impossible to make progress under the microformats process.

> You might encourage him to bring his work to a larger community (this or 
> any other).

I am and will be.

> Peace,
> Scott

Thanks, Ian

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