[uf-discuss] Unjust banning of Andy Mabbett

Ben Ward lists at ben-ward.co.uk
Sun Mar 16 14:09:53 PST 2008

On 15 Mar 2008, at 22:09, "Jesse Rodgers" <jrrodgers at gmail.com> wrote:
> There is a risk that without the formality, leadership, andstrength  
> then why doesn't IE8 rename things and add a little bit here
> and there? How about Google? They may want their own gCal format
> because hCal is just a hobby. Does the microformats community require
> formality in order to retain consistency in those that think they know
> better?

The fact that we are not a formal standards body doesn't seem to be  
causing an issue. In fact, Microsoft have been extremely positive in  
their recent hSlice communications: Not misusing the word  
'microformat', not breaking hAtom. Everything they did in speccing  
their own pattern was correct and played-nice with our existing  
community driven microformats. Similarly, Yahoo's recent  
communications regarding search enhancements (which use microformats,  
RDFa and eRDF) draw a clear distinction between the different  

To me, it reflects that whilst we ended up in this community-driven,  
dictatorless body somewhat by evolution, it does work well enough.

It's important to remember that the technologies we build on — HTML  
and the @class and @rel attributes it provides — are not controlled  
by us. We are perhaps the largest organised use of @class, but we  
have no exclusive claim to the attribute. As such, microformats.org  
as an organisation has to respect others creating patterns in their  
own way too. If Google wanted gCal, or Yahoo wanted yWidget or  
something, they're entitled to it.

I think the best way to interact in such an open space is as a  

> I think too much formal process, elections,
> etc get you into an issue where 'he/she with the most time wins' as
> with any volunteer organization.

Completely agreed, it increases the amount of the time the community  
has to spend on meta-issues. Even in the past 10 days, only a small  
minority of people have shown an inclination to engage in this meta- 

Administration of the community shouldn't interfere so much as to be  
a constant concern. But, when the community aesthetic isn't  
conductive to productively working on the microformats themselves,  
something is astray and where it requires intervention we will do our  
best to correct it.

> There is a risk that this could all be replaced and all that work
> forgotten... details of this thread aside, perhaps a little benevolent
> leadership is required to direct the community?

So long as the output of this community is of high quality, the  
formats we product will hold authority on the web.

I don't currently believe that creating formats with high authority  
must be created in a highly authoritative environment, though.  
They're separate issues, and if the format is high quality, the  
process in which it is built is irrelevant.



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