[whatwg] microformats incompatible with WebApps 1.0 ?

Martin Atkins mart at degeneration.co.uk
Tue Dec 12 11:58:15 PST 2006

Mike Schinkel wrote:
> But you are assuming there is a downside to them for calling it "foo-name"
> vs. just "name."  There isn't; developers use conventions all the time.  And
> if you read my proposal clearly, the prefix is only needed on a top-level
> element or to disambiguate.

I'm not sure if you are actually proposing what I'm proposing or if 
you're just mentioning this in passing, but it seems to me a reasonable 
compromise to create a registry of *container* classes which can contain 
microformats or other extension stuff. Since these things only have to 
be used once, they can be a little bit obtuse to avoid conflicts with 
author-invented classnames.

You just need to mention in some spec (which, in theory, doesn't even 
have to be the HTML5 spec, since "class" is just an list of opaque 
strings as far as HTML is concerned) that there will be a registry of 
container classes which will all have some common prefix and that within 
that container anything goes.

Some arbitrary new microformat "foo" could then be assigned (for 
example) the prefix "x-foo", into which it can plonk whatever it likes:

    <div class="x-foo">
        <div class="cheese">Cheddar</div>

You could even go so far as to specify that these prefix names will 
never contain a dash, so the "owners" of the x-foo prefix would be able 
to invent their own containers such as x-foo-giraffe without fear of a 
later "registrant" getting that as a container name.

If any of the inner classnames conflict between schemas, they can be 
disambiguated in CSS and elsewhere using contextual selectors.

Authors would then be discouraged (but probably not forbidden) from 
using the "x-" prefix (or whatever is selected) for their own made-up 

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