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Some comments re: microformats

From: Ryan King <ryan@technorati.com>
Date: Thu, 10 May 2007 16:59:18 -0600
Message-Id: <24F903FA-9896-45F5-8D08-9EAC7DDAB868@technorati.com>
To: public-grddl-comments@w3.org

Promted by Harry's message to microformats-discuss[1], I'd like make  
a few comments. Part of the group's charter calls for  
interoperability with microformats. As an active member of the  
community around microformats.org, I'd like to review the  
specification from that perspective.

Here are a few issues/comments I'd like to make:

1. tagsoup? html?

The spec describes how to apply a transformation from "Valid XHTML",  
but fails to define any way to deal with other content on the web.  
Given that the majority of the web is something other than "Valid  
XHTML" [2], this spec doesn't seem to be very useful on the Web.

There also doesn't appear to be any normative way to deal with non  
XML HTML (like HTML 4, for example).

Unfortunately, this appears to be out of scope for for the group's  

> It binds XML documents, especially XHTML documents, XHTML profiles  
> and XML namespace documents

and there's not mention of a requirement to work with existing  
content on the web, so I'm not sure there's anything that can be done  
at this stage.

2. profiles, editing <head>

AFAICT from my reading of the spec, authors producing content to be  
consumed via GRDDL will need to add a profile uri to the <head> of  
their XHTML documents.

This requirement will reduce the compatibility with existing  
microformats content on the web. Most content does not have a profile.

Also, there are many web authors for whom editing the <head> of their  
documents is either prohibited or much more difficult than adding  
content in the <body>

Lastly, the current HTML5 draft removes @profile. Of course, this is  
just a draft and things may change, but there doesn't appear to be a  
story about future compatibility here.


1. http://microformats.org/discuss/mail/microformats-discuss/2007-May/ 

2. I can't find the reference but Ian Hickson did a study at google  
which showed that more than 90% of page on the web had lexical level  
validity issues. Most of the web is not well formed, much less  
conformant XHTML

3. http://www.w3.org/2006/07/grddl-charter.html
Received on Thursday, 10 May 2007 22:59:23 UTC

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