For anyone who hasn't come across the concept yet - a microformat is
simply a (grass roots-developed) standardised way to use existing html
attributes (@class @rel @rev) when marking up common chunks of
information, eg: reviews (hReview), calendar events (hCal), and contact
James Cummings wrote:
> when you publish your project's website, also publish the ODD so that
> other projects can benefit from using this customisation if it suits
> their needs, or further constraining or modifying it.
While it's undoubtedly a good thing to do this, I don't see it as an
ideal solution to the problem that microformats addresses, and I can
see 2 possible problems:
1. (small problem) Finding similar projects with relevant ODDs and
choosing what you need. With microformats, you can just go look on their
2. Forking. Microformats are small, modular, optional standards. Project
conventions and customisations are not small, and are difficult to reuse
in their entirety; so I publish my project ODD, you start a similar
project, customise my ODD, publish it; Martin starts a similar project,
looks at your ODD, maybe at mine too, customises, publishes; Sylvain
looks at the ODDs, customises, publishes. By the time David starts his
project, small problem no 1 has become quite difficult, and hope of
sharing tools between projects has slimmed considerably.
I see the main benefit of greater standardisation as being the ability
to create and share tools more widely. And I see microformats as a neat
and clever way of doing that in the HTML community without sacrificing
flexibility or interfering with the official HTML standard. TEI isn't
HTML of course, and what works there doesn't necessarily work here in
the same way. But I do think it is an interesting idea for the TEI
community to think about.
> Just like the W3C does not provide all these microformats for XHTML, I
> don't think the TEI should provide these customisations for TEI P5.
Neither do I, and I don't think it would have probably been appropriate
for the W3C to do what microformats have done. I quite like the model
of a general, stable, official standard, supplemented flexibly by
specific less-official mini standards (microformats) that can change (or
die) organically in accordance with users' needs.