[microformats-discuss] Discovery of microformats

Joshua Porter porter at bokardo.com
Tue Jul 12 14:12:24 PDT 2005

Is it fair to say that microformats are no further along in auto- 
discovery than are standalone XML formats?

I ask because I'm confused about the "support" of microformats. I  
understand that microformats are "supported" by browsers in the sense  
that browsers read them as XHTML. But that's not really doing  
anything with the semantics we've added to our markup. (we might as  
well be writing in any arbitrary format).

Taken further, it seems to me that for anything to be done with  
microformats, our UAs will need to be updated in some fashion.  Of  
course, Technorati is supporting some of them already....but we don't  
want something that will be supported by only one vendor...and  
presumably Technorati would support another XML format, too.

Thus, microformats, to me, sound like just as much work as would be a  
separate format (like RSS). Indeed, many of the microformats are  
based on living formats written in plaintext or xml. So some are  
already developed...like iCal, xCal, and OPML.

Therefore, I wonder if there are some applications for which a  
separate format are better suited, and presumably some applications  
for which microformats are better suited.  Does anybody have a take  
on this?

However, I'm hearing this push about microformats...which is all well  
and good...but I don't know, as a developer, where I should *spend my  

A possible issue to address would be: should I provide OPML or XOXO?


On Jul 12, 2005, at 3:32 PM, Ryan King wrote:

> On Jul 12, 2005, at 11:41 AM, Joshua Porter wrote:
>> In trying to understand why I should, as a developer, produce  
>> microformat code, I realized that I don't know how to find out  
>> which sites use microformats and which don't.  (Tantek's pointer  
>> on microformats.org the other day reminded me of this)
>> How would I (or my browsing/aggregating software) discover that a  
>> site is using microformats?
> A couple of ways:
> 1. You could tell it that there are microformats there. :)
> 2. The UA could parse the page, looking for microformats that it  
> knows about.
> 3. Profile URL- microformats can have a profile url, which is in  
> the profile attribute of the head element.
> spec: http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/struct/global.html#h-7.4
> example:http://gmpg.org/xmdp/description
> -ryan
>> Thanks,
>> josh
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