Re: "Pave The Cowpaths" Design Principle

Gervase Markham wrote:
[Regarding class="copyright"...]
> Perhaps the inhabitants of this list need to find a better example, 
> then. :-) And if we can't, we should abandon the whole idea as unnecessary.

   I've pretty much come to the conclusion that any pre-defined
attribute values that apply broadly to all elements (such as roles and
class names) should be excluded from the specification. I was willing to
make an exception for some class names if the definitions of their
semantics and use were confined to something like metadata collection,
but it's becoming apparent that there may not be sufficient use case for

>> It's true that many of the complex microformats have a root class name, 
>> and multiple included structural elements identified by class="" or 
>> rel="" values. However, there are many trivial microformats based solely 
>> on a single rel value, such as rel="nofollow". (The rel-nofollow 
>> microformat is adopted directly into HTML5, I believe without 
>> controversy - people don't seem to worry about rel as much as class.)
> I think the difference is that rel already has predefined names; the 
> point of class was that it didn't (and so authors could use any name 
> without fear of unwanted side-effects).

   Not having predefined values isn't sufficient to bar new predefined
values. What differentiates |rel| is that there is a far more specific
semantic context and an expectation that all values could potentially
trigger processing by a user agent.

> Also, "rel=nofollow" almost seems too simple to be a microformat.

   What exactly is your definition of "micro"? Should we call it a

> Is  "autocomplete=off" a microformat too?

   No, because it's an attribute and thus causes the document not to
validate. It's really a de facto standard, actually.

> We seem to be stretching the 
> definition of "microformat" quite a long way, such that it is losing 
> meaning.

   I don't think excluding |rel|-based extensions of HTML from the
definition of "microformat" serves any useful purpose.

Received on Thursday, 17 May 2007 11:36:50 UTC