[uf-discuss] Microformats gets strong showing in Firefox 3 UI

Mike Kaply microformats at kaply.com
Tue Jun 5 07:27:36 PDT 2007

On 6/5/07, Montgomery, Mike <MMontgomery at terpsys.com> wrote:
> I like the idea of an icon that is activated when microformat content is
> available as mentioned by Paul.  It would provide an immediate visual
> cue that information is available without direct user interaction such
> as having to hover of content or right-clicking.  It would also provide
> a way to indicate information that may be hidden on the page.  I picture
> it being similar to the RSS feed icon.  Maybe it is something that also
> appears in the address bar.

I'm considering experimenting with putting a microformats icon on the
URL bar similar to the RSS icon, but that would be Operator only. The
Firefox folks specifically don't want to clutter up that bar. The
basic problem with Firefox is that they don't want to clutter the UI
with something that might not be used a lot (this is a statement about
all microformats in the UI)

> For the record, I actually like the way the Operator add-on works in
> Firefox.  It provides the mircoformat information broken down in
> different categories (contacts, calendar, maps, etc.) in the tool bar
> and the Options menu, it provides the ability to Highlight microformats
> on the page when you mouseover them (similar to the cursor concept).  I
> also like the fact I can turn off this feature.  However, I know that an
> entire tool bar takes up a lot of browser real estate and something more
> compact would be better.

That was really my goal to provide as many UI paradigms as possible in
Operator so that people could decide which they liked the best. If
people don't like the toolbar, they can use the Operator toolbar
button or the Operator status bar icon. One of the ideas I have which
isn't done yet is to provide certain microformats as standalone
toolbar buttons (like a Contacts toolbar button).

> One last thing, are there any thoughts on which microformats would be
> supported by the Firefox UI?  Would it be all of them? Maybe it would
> only be those that are specs and not drafts?

Yes. At this point it will probably be hCard, hCalendar, Address and
maybe geo. There will be no rel based microformats. The reason for no
rel based microformats is because if you think about it, they are
difficult to detect efficiently. For instance, detecting XFN requires
seeing if the rel attribute contains one or more of 18 different
things. Not very efficient. Detecting classes is much more

The reason I'm doing Address is the same reason I put it in Operator -
it doesn't make sense to do things like "search google maps" on an
hCard, since the hCard is not the address, and the hCard can contain
more than one address.

Mike Kaply

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