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poshformats are data formats constructed from the use of semantic class names.

microformats are the proper subset of poshformats which have been developed via the microformats process and principles.


Given that web designers have been making up their own controlled vocabularies for class names as part of POSH modern web design practices for quite some time, and that there continues to be a strong tendency for folks to want to invent their own a-priori formats by starting with a set of class names (rather than following the microformats process), it makes sense to provide a label for such class names.

Coined and further explained on December 26th, 2007, the term "poshformats" distinguishes these one-off, ad-hoc or more informal class-name based formats efforts (based on long-standing modern web design POSH practices) from the more formally researched and documented microformats. Another way of describing the distinction is that microformats are the proper subset of poshformats which have been developed via the microformats process and principles, rather than made-up a-priori.


poshformats may only apply to the person who invented it, or a specific site of theirs, or maybe even just one web page.

difference from microformats

If you want reusability, interoperability, etc., then you must follow the microformats principles and process which were specifically designed to produce more reusable and interoperable results.


difference between posh and poshformat

What's the difference between merely using POSH in a document, and creating a poshformat?

  • When the author of that POSH declares it to be a "format" of some sort, then they've created a poshformat.

are xfn and xmdp poshformats

Should xfn and xmdp be considered microformats created outside the microformats group, or poshformats with adoption and consensus similar to microformats?

  • XFN is a microformat by way of having followed (and frankly, inspired) the microformats principles and process. Lots of research was done in its development on both existing uses on the Web of relationship information (typically in blogs and blogrolls), and pre-existing relationship formats. XFN 1.0 was simplified down to the more common declared relationships found in the wild. XFN 1.1 was an iteration based up on real world use experience of XFN 1.0. XMDP on the other hand is more of a foundational technology, just as DTDs are a foundational technology for SGML, HTML, XML etc. XMDP does however follow a lot of the microformats principles as well.

known poshformats

This section lists poshformats (often mistakenly called microformats, typically by their creators). Sorted alphabetically:

see also