W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-validator@w3.org > June 2005

Re: Microformats?

From: Mark Nottingham <mnot@mnot.net>
Date: Mon, 6 Jun 2005 18:26:53 +0200
Message-Id: <79d2cb8c22a43f0acd4817f96666b6c4@mnot.net>
Cc: www-validator@w3.org
To: David Dorward <david@dorward.me.uk>

On Jun 6, 2005, at 5:44 PM, David Dorward wrote:

> So no telling the user that their document doesn't follow the DTD they
> claim to be using (which is the whole point of validation)? That
> sounds rather ... wrong.
> If you want to use a language other then (X)HTML and still validate,
> then use a Doctype that references a custom DTD (and be aware that the
> document IS non-standard and ISN'T HTML).

Reading the HTML spec, I am somewhat torn; on the one hand, it says 
that it's based on SGML, and therefore has a DTD; on the other, the 
conformance section explicitly says that the spec does not define what 
to do with extension elements and attributes. Is there a definitive 
reading of this from the HTML WG (please provide a reference to their 
minutes or a WG document if so)?

The whole point of microformats is to adorn valid HTML with extra 
metadata that machines can use. If using a microformat means it's not 
HTML, you can't use a media type that will reliably render in browsers.

If this is indeed the case, then HTML got its extensibility story 
wrong; it's important to be able to add backwards-compatible extensions 
(e.g., microformats) without affecting validity. As a result, people 
who want this kind of functionality (a set of people that is growing; 
witness what Google is doing) will have no choice but to ignore 
validity. That would not be a good situation, in my opinion.

Mark Nottingham     http://www.mnot.net/
Received on Monday, 6 June 2005 16:26:57 UTC

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