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Archive for February, 2007

Microformats and RDF: Moving Beyond the Hype

Posted in Uncategorized on February 28th, 2007 by darcusb – Comments Off

Ian Davis has a typically smart, open-minded, and reasonable response to a comment from Tantek Çelik that repeats the old-mantras: that microformats represent a kind of practical solution to the pipe-dream of RDF and the Semantic Web.

Ian does a great job of (politely) picking apart this argument, and also of emphasizing that the RDF and microformats community are really on the same side and have much to learn from each other. So I won’t really add much, except to say that I spent a lot of time on the microformats list last year trying to help with the hCite effort, and ultimately left in frustration.

There’s too much hype around microformats, too little willingness to consider serious engagement with contrary views (that are themselves based on practical experience), too much arbitrariness wrapped in the appearance of some kind of scientific rigor, and I have too little time in my life to bother.

After mentioning some of this last December here and here I just concluded my time was better spent elsewhere. I was particularly bothered to see the resistance to any discussion of adding new attributes to HTML 5 and so for harmonizing RDFa and microformats. It’s one thing to make do with the existing limitations of HTML, but quite another to claim they don’t exist and shouldn’t be fixed in future web standards.