The imminent rise of Microformats

Bill Gates on Microformats

It really is only a matter of time before this stuff really takes off. With Bill on the bully pulpit yakkin‘ with TimO about it, dropping references it during the Mix ’06 keynote, Ray Ozzie pimping them at ETECH, LinkedIn coming to the party, folks misrepresenting core ideas already… I mean sweet! I smell a movement on the march.

Update: Kevin “Quicktime” Marks has the transcript and more formats.

5 Comments

  1. ryan king said
    at 11am on Mar 24th # |

    “A movement on the march.”

    Man, chris, this isn’t a revolution. Ok, maybe I called it one once. But we’re not looking to overthrow any oppressors, and framing it as an antagonistic fight doesn’t do much to help us.

    Sure, microformateers have disagreements with people working on the (uppercase) Semantic Web and other web-of-date initiatives, but, in truth there’s more for us to cooperate on than disagree about.

    I know I haven’t always been the best example of civility in this regard, but I hope to change that.

  2. FactoryJoe said
    at 12pm on Mar 24th # |

    Who said that we need to be antagonistic? A movement on the march doesn’t have to be a negative thing — it only means that we’re picking up steam and getting some attention.

    I didn’t disparage any other technology, cite any oppression or suggest that we’re “fighting” anyone or anything.

    I would, however, suggest that it is part of a larger and growing revolution towards openness, transparency and collaboration. Sure, I may couch my writing in upstart hyperbole and conflict, but it’s primarily in good fun. If anyone is the king of taking themself too seriously, it’s me — that said, microformats represent something much greater than data format technologies like Windows Media, Quicktime, or even the Microsoft clipboard. For the first time the language of the web (HTML) will be able to really express information about the data it stores, in a way that anyone with a web browser can take advantage of.

    It’s a movement on the march because we are galvanizing a community, tooting our horn and marching down Main Street on the web — and people are actually coming to join the fray. If that’s not a movement on the march, praytell, what is?!

  3. ryan king said
    at 2pm on Mar 24th # |

    It’s a movement on the march because we are galvanizing a community, tooting our horn and marching down Main Street on the web — and people are actually coming to join the fray. If that’s not a movement on the march, praytell, what is?!

    We don’t need a fray. We don’t need to imply that we’re marching against something (people don’t just march in circles, do they? They march towards their adversary.)

    We need smart, critical, dispassionate discussion and thinking. Self-promotional frenzies don’t inspire good engineering.

    I understand and believe the potential of microformats, I don’t like dealing with the hype lash-back. I’ve been guilty of creating it myself, but I’ve grown tired of it.

    Let microformats speak for themselves.

    Back to the post:

    It really is only a matter of time before this stuff really takes off.

    It already has taken off. And it did so without hype.

  4. FactoryJoe said
    at 2pm on Mar 24th # |

    Well, again, this is a semantic argument — but also one of tactics. To begin with, I’m using “march” in the context of “the march of technology progress, advance, progression, development, evolution; passage.” Not against an adversary.

    Second, I prefer to talk openly about the things that I’m doing, and to express my excitement about them. If my excitement and enthusiasm sounds like hype to you, I’m afraid that we simply have different means of expressing our ideas — and similarly, achieving our ends.

    Microformats will not speak for themselves to the audiences that could be most interested in hearing, or who most need to hear, about them. To cite a similar example, if your proposition were true, we’d still be doing table-based layouts. Instead, because the standardistas went on the march touting semantic and standards-based design, we have the preconditions necessary for microformats.

    Microformats will live up to their promise, and I don’t think that saying so is hype. My goals include spreading the concepts of microformats and of increasing adoption. In that respect in particular, microformats still have a long way to go and need help to get there.

  5. at 12pm on May 14th # |

    Gate: “And it’s all very market driven. If some format is too rigid, then nobody is locked into that, somebody can come along and do something completely different.”

    Sorry if such comments always give me the willies, but I can’t help but think that he is essentially declaring MS’s right for the three E’s — “Embrace, Enhance, Extinguish” — by simply declaring MS’s actions as some natural part of the “market”

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