Accessibility, Microformats, and rule by mob

Recovered from the Wayback Machine.

Bob DuCharme has a guest post by the Chief Technology Strategist for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Sarah Bourne, on accessibility issues associated with microformats. She mentions both the abbr and include design patterns that others, most commonly Joe Clark, have brought up in the past.

Ms. Bourne also has an interesting note to make on the nature of the microformat effort:

I suspect that the problems with microformats lie in the fact that they are being developed by a voluntary group instead of an established standards body. The community structure certainly leads to quicker decisions, but they are not as well vetted with a broader audience. Conflicts may not appear until their decisions have been put into practice.

Standards by general consensus rarely works out. For instance, the HTML5 working group has 504 members. How the heck can you get anything accomplished when you have 504 members? What happens with a group this size is either nothing happens, or a few of the more vocal, and assertive, members end up dominating the group–in which case you don’t really have a standards working group: you have George and Jane, and the backup singers.

Update Ms. Bourne actually linked to Isofarro not Joe Clark. Isofarro features Joe’s micropatronage badge prominently in the header. I thought the site was Joe’s once, myself.

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