semantic XHTML and microformats (was Re: [uf-discuss] Automatic conversion of XML to microformat and vice versa; recommendation for handling XML attributes?)

Pat Ramsey ramsey.pat at
Sun Oct 1 19:35:24 PDT 2006

Tantek, your clarification is something that might be a good thing to
have written up on the microformats web site, the wiki, etc. It's
concise and makes a good "bullet point" to keep in mind when
discussing/evangelizing microformats to others who might not be quite
in step with the rest of us.


On 10/1/06, Tantek Çelik <tantek at> wrote:
> These are all good recommendations.
> There are a couple of higher level things from Roger's original email that I
> wanted to clear up though.
> Note that the XOXO conversion that Brian and David are talking about will
> convert *any* XML into XOXO which is *a* microformat, rather than just *an*
> XML *document* to *a* microformat.
> That being said, you can always just use semantic (X)HTML.
> Note that microformats use semantic XHTML, but not all use of semantic XHTML
> are microformats.
> Web designers and authors are using semantic XHTML everyday without using
> microformats, and that's perfectly fine.  They are not trying to create
> standards and interoperably/automatically exchange data with each other.
> They are simply expressing the semantics of their documents.
> Whereas microformats follow a specific process and are intended to provide a
> way for publishers worldwide to easily interoperably exchange simple bits of
> data.
> This distinction between "semantic XHTML" and "microformats" is very
> important to understand and is often confused - I've even seen W3C staff
> themselves call microformats "just using good class names", which is
> incorrect.  (Using good class names is simply one of the practices of
> semantic XHTML).
> Thanks,
> Tantek

Pat Ramsey
ramsey.pat at

More information about the microformats-discuss mailing list