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Re: ISSUE-27 Change Proposal: defer to the Microformats community for cataloging HTML rel values

From: Toby Inkster <tai@g5n.co.uk>
Date: Thu, 09 Dec 2010 11:11:49 +0000
To: Edward O'Connor <hober0@gmail.com>
Cc: HTML WG <public-html@w3.org>
Message-ID: <1291893109.20693.108.camel@ophelia2.g5n.co.uk>
On Wed, 2010-12-08 at 16:49 -0800, Edward O'Connor wrote:
> Please consider this Change Proposal when deciding ISSUE-27:
> http://www.w3.org/html/wg/wiki/User:Eoconnor/ISSUE-27 

A few things to consider:

"Reflect reality"

You quote a survey by DeWitt Clinton where he finds the top 25 rel
values and compare which are currently present in the microformats wiki
list, and which are registered with IANA, discovering that the
microformats wiki comes out very favourably.

However, the same survey also notes that the top 11 rel values, between
them account for 90% of the use of the rel attribute on the web.
Comparing just those first 11 values, you find it comes out as:

	Microformats wiki: 8; IANA registry: 7.

That's a pretty small difference, and I doubt it's statistically
significant.

This comparison also doesn't reflect the fact that the IANA registry has
only been open for a couple of months. The expert review process takes
time, and given time the IANA registry is likely to catch up in
reflecting reality, and perhaps overtake the microformats wiki.

"Must be able to register HTML-specific details"

Leif Halvard Sillil might have more to say on this, as I seem to
remember he has written on this topic before, but the importance of
these HTML-specific details seems overstated.

"Provisional registration"

While the microformats wiki offers a form of provisional registration,
what remains to be seen is whether it offers a route for provisionally
registered values to be achieve full registration.

While the "microformats process" is frequently cited as such a
mechanism, it should be noted that the microformats process has never
resulted in a single non-draft microformat being published. All the
non-draft microformat specifications currently on the microformats wiki
are a result of the bootstrapping process, the specs having been copied
across from the Technorati wiki, the GPMG.org website and various other
sites many years ago. In the several years since then, no new non-draft
specifications have been developed.

Compare these two copies of the wiki main page from July 2005 and
December 2010:

http://microformats.org/wiki/Main_Page?oldid=28922#Specifications 
http://microformats.org/wiki/Main_Page?oldid=43375#Specifications

"Discoverability"

Google for "rel registry" and the IANA one comes up as number 4. No
microformats.org page is on the first page of Google. These things are
organic and change frequently though - the IANA registry has only
existed a short while and is likely to move up in search engine results
over the coming months and years.

"Responses to anticipated objections"

Under this section you mention the microformats admins. The process of
becoming a microformats admin is opaque and does not appear to follow
democratic or indeed easily understood principles. The admin team has
frequently been accused of acting as a cabal, e.g.
http://microformats.org/discuss/mail/microformats-discuss/2007-August/010377.html

-- 
Toby A Inkster
<mailto:mail@tobyinkster.co.uk>
<http://tobyinkster.co.uk>
Received on Thursday, 9 December 2010 11:12:44 UTC

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