%HTMLlat1; %HTMLsymbol; %HTMLspecial; ]> Microformats
Roland van Ipen­burg
To be stolen or blogged


Satur­day 2 Septem­ber 2006 16:26

In Web 2.0 days all a web­mas­ter has is a pimped web­form to pub­lish his con­tent, while in Web 0.0 days web pub­lish­ing was more cen­tered around copy­ing stuff from your home di­rec­to­ry on the serv­er to your web-di­rec­to­ry on the same sys­tem. So in the old days it wasn't that hard to have a .plan, fin­ger ser­vice, cre­ate an en­try in an X.500 like sys­tem, or cre­ate a vCard and link to it with an an­chor or em­bed it with an ob­ject el­e­ment in HTML. On page 7 of some hype in a sci­en­tif­ic skin the pos­si­bil­i­ty of us­ing an ob­ject el­e­ment to em­bed a vCard in valid XHTML is sim­ply ig­nored ("vCards files are not em­bed­d­a­ble in valid XHTML doc­u­ments", what part of "gener­ic em­bed­ded ob­ject" don't you un­der­stand Mr. Matthieu-P. Shutup­now?). Sure if you live in a Web 2.0 world it's pret­ty hard to have some ap­pli­ca­tion ex­port some­thing as a vCard file on your sys­tem, up­load it to your my­space ac­count, fig­ure out what the URL is, hope their serv­er sends it with the cor­rect MIME-type, hope it's not treat­ed as ma­li­cious con­tent some­where along the way, use a textarea to type in an ob­ject tag point­ing to it and then an­noy users with sys­tems that still don't sup­port an RFC from 1998. Web 2.0 is not about im­prov­ing the web. Web 2.0 is about rephras­ing what has al­ways been in HTTP and HTML, in a way that every noob thinks he un­der­stands it and can di­rect­ly type a sub­op­ti­mal im­ple­men­ta­tion of in his com­mu­ni­ty-pan­el du jour and with­in 15 min­utes crown it with a shiny icon, next to his self as­signed valid XHTML, RSS, AnyBrows­er patch­es show­ing he's a good boyscout, ready to be tak­en ad­van­tage of by the peo­ple mak­ing mon­ey push­ing the Web 2.0 train...

How does this af­fect mi­cro­for­mats? Well, for a long time I couldn't un­der­stand why peo­ple were so en­t­hou­si­as­tic about such lame workarounds. It's like lis­ten­ing to a pret­ty mean­ing­less dis­cus­sion about which is the fastest route from A to B, un­til you re­al­ize you're the only one in the dis­cus­sion fly­ing a he­li­copter and all the oth­ers are re­strict­ed to their bi­cy­cles, and most of them are not even aware of the ex­is­tance of he­li­copters: they are ba­si­cal­ly miss­ing sev­er­al di­men­sions in the so­lu­tion-space. So if your au­di­ence can't run a ded­i­cat­ed ser­vice on their serv­er, can't in­flu­ence HTTP head­ers, can't do XSLT, can't do HTTP con­tent ne­go­ti­a­tion, can't use Dublin Core, but are only al­lowed to type HTML in a textarea, mi­cro­for­mats might seem like a good idea. But for any­one be­yond the add-sur­round­ed web-"ap­pli­ca­tion" that is your Gmail, MyS­pace etc., there are real so­lu­tions. They are just not as hyped by cryp­to-Mi­crosofts...


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Se­bas­ti­aan Smid

Tues­day 5 Septem­ber 2006 14:24

re: Mi­cro­for­mats

Real­ly nice ar­ti­cle :)
I re­al­ly like the style ! keep up the good work.


Tues­day 5 Septem­ber 2006 15:30

re: Mi­cro­for­mats

so true :)


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