As reported by Chris Messina, Apple’s dotMac team has added hCard support to their webmail application.
Despite recently canceling my dotMac account, I think this is important news because it highlights a use case of microformats which many have not recognized.
Up until now, most usage of hCard has been people publically publishing contact information. Putting it in hCard allows people to use X2V to convert it to a vCard, which most address book applications support.
In the case of dotMac’s webmail, the contact information isn’t public– it’s in a private view of an individual user. By marking up this data with hCard, browsers which understand hCard can recognize what they’re rendering and do smart things with it. Today, the best tool for doing this is the wonderful Tails Firefox extension. Tails will highlight microformats in a page and allow you to extact them to your address book or calendar.
My point in all of this? Semantic markup is valuable no matter where you use it– public or private– because it allows us to build smart tools for consuming the information.
Yesterday morning (Pacific Time), the box that hosts microformats.org had a disk failure. Of course, this happened right as we were about to migrate it to a new host.
The box has been offline since then. We’re now getting our services setup on a new VPS. The blog and wiki are both up and working. We’re working on getting the mailing lists operational now. I’ll update this post as things progress.
Update: Things appear to back up and running. Please leave a comment if you see anything missing.
Norm!, Drew and JeremyOn Thursday night the world of Microformats collided with the London Web Standards Group with a triple bill of presenters.
In the guise of the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future, Mark Norman Francis, Jeremy Keith and Drew Mclellan took the group through the history of microformats, implemention and semantic mark-up and using microformats to create your own API (of sorts).
The Podcast for the event and corresponding slides can be found at the following locations:
Thanks to the WSG and Stuart Colville for organising this specialist evening!