Re: "Pave The Cowpaths" Design Principle

Gervase Markham wrote:
> Also, "rel=nofollow" almost seems too simple to be a microformat. Is
> "autocomplete=off" a microformat too? We seem to be stretching the
> definition of "microformat" quite a long way, such that it is losing
> meaning.

Two observations:
1. rel=tag is also a microformat, but the way it works is that it can
be used inside other more complex 'compound' microformats, like

2. The only reliable working definition of microformat is basically
whatever goes through the microformats community process.

I think that microformats are very useful (and cool), but they are a
distraction for the HTML WG. Microformats came about as a result of
the wise decision to allow HTML4 and XHTML1 to have a wide latitude in
deciding expressing semantic data. This is something that
RDF-in-(X)HTML approaches have built upon with eRDF and GRDDL. We
should be extremely sure before shutting off any opportunity for
people to express data within HTML, as the limits of this are still
far from reach.

With regard to microformats, perhaps the most appropriate response
would be something as follows:
"Various approaches have been taken with regard to embedding data and
meta-data within HTML. The W3C maintain a list of these at <wherever>.
User Agents may consider providing extra functionality based on these


Tom Morris

Received on Sunday, 20 May 2007 15:22:51 UTC