Thought often abused for layout, the original purpose of HTML tables is to provide a two-dimensional structure for data. The purpose of this exploration is to determine if there are common patterns for annotationg those structures, and (if so) whether there is a need to formalize that as a microformat (a la XOXO 1.0: Extensible Open XHTML Outlines for lists). The working hypothesis is tables typically represent two kinds of data:
- a list of dictionaries (with column headers, and sometimes row headers)
- a grid of numerical data (without any headers, or merely numeric indices)
- Best practices for marking up tabular data.