Microformats.org Wiki 2.0

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Microformats.org has been served by a near-default MediaWiki theme since it first went live in 2005. Over the years the kind of content published on the wiki has been established, and the editing practices of our community better understood. The ‘Wiki 2.0’ project is a medium-sized undertaking to update our wiki software to better suit the communities needs, and take the opportunity to add some visual sparkle too.

Summary of Changes

  • MediaWiki has been updated from version 1.4 to version 1.13.2.
  • The visual styling of the wiki has been upgraded to a completely custom skin, based on Dan Cederholm's original microformats.org design.
  • The search feature is now located at the top-right of the page, because having it buried further down was silly.
  • The header now links to other vital parts of the microformats site — the blog and the mailing list archives.
  • Some new extensions have been added to the MediaWiki install
    • HTML phrase elements are now fully supported
    • Code syntax highlighting has been added
    • Page titles can now be overwritten in mark-up (e.g. ‘hcard’ can become ‘hCard’, or more ambitious transformations)
  • ‘Talk’ pages have been completely disabled, rather than just ‘hidden’.
  • All wiki pages are marked up with hAtom and hCalendar
  • We will now be using MediaWiki's categories feature to better organize our content.
    • Pages placed into the Specifications category gets special ‘spec-like’ styling (see hCard).
    • Pages places into the Draft Specifications category get different special ‘spec-like’ styling (see hResume)
    • Pages placed into either specification category will generate links to their respective -issues pages
  • TOC — table of contents — is now properly styled in the theme. There is nolonger a need to use inline styles to align the TOC to the right
  • There is now styling support for both inline issues tracking and discussions within list nesting. Previously it was hard to identify discussion documentation from proposed content, and hard to follow threads. Mark-up is now supported to style these more apporpriately
  • Your username now has a Gravatar displayed alongside, as in blog comments.
  • When editing, the ‘Save’ and ‘Preview’ buttons have been reversed to try and encourage people to preview more before posting

How to Use Wiki 2.0

The following tries to explain how best to use the new features in Wiki 2.0.

Page Titles

Between version 1.4 and 1.13 MediaWiki fixed a bug whereby headings marked up with HTML elements were excluded from the generated Table of Contents on pages. We have since used H1 elements to override the headings of pages whilst not offsetting the TOC numbering into 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, etc. Since that bug is fixed, this hack has been replaced with a more robust mechanism.

Rather than use H1 elements to title your pages, instead use the new entry-title element. This is parsed by a MediaWiki extension and overrides the entry title as displayed on the page, whilst excluding it from the TOC. It is so named, because it corresponds to the entry-title element in the underlying hAtom that each entry is now marked up with.

Writing Specifications

The new wiki supports special display of specification documents, different from regular pages. The pages are styled more plainly and content spans the full width of the page, akin to documentation from the W3C, WHATWG and other bodies. The sidebar is pushed down into an expanded footer, so all functionality remains.

To enable these views, you must add your page to a particular category.

  • Specifications should be added to the ‘Specifications’ category, by including [[Category:Specifications]] at the base of the document.
  • Draft Specifications should be added to the ‘Draft Specifications’ category, by including [[Category:Draft Specifications]] at the base of the document. You must also include the {{DraftSpecification}} template at the head of your document, to provide textual differentiation of the draft.

Please note that issues pages, brainstorming pages, straw-men and anything else not explicitly a Draft Specification or Specification document should not be added to these categories and should continue to be presented as regular wiki pages.

Categories should be declared at the base of articles, please.

Discussions and Issues

Within documents discussions are often represented through nested lists. They are hard to follow, and hard to differentiate from the actual content of the document. You can now mark them up and have them presented more appropriately, and hopefully more clearly.

  • For discussions: Surround the thread with <div class="discussion"></div>.
  • For raising issues: Surround the thread with <div class="discussion issues"></div>.

The following are examples to show the rendering:

  • I'm not happy with the phrasing of the above. --BenWard 09:50, 17 November 2008 (UTC)
    • I disagree, I think it's fine! --BenWard 09:50, 17 November 2008 (UTC)
  • New wiki does not support declarative creation of animated GIFs on profile pages. This is a big deal for me! --BenWard 09:50, 17 November 2008 (UTC)
    • No. Just… no! --BenWard 09:50, 17 November 2008 (UTC)

Always sign your contributions to discussions using the string --~~~~ at the end of your text.

Code Highlighting

We've installed a Syntax Highlighting extension. This allows you to have nicer highlighting of many languages used in examples and code snippets on the wiki.

  • To use syntax highlighted source blocks, use the new <source> element. E.g.
  <source lang=html4strict>
  <div class="vcard">
    <a class="fn org" href="http://microformats.org">Microformats.org</a>


  <div class="vcard">
    <a class="fn org" href="http://microformats.org">Microformats.org</a>

Note that the language name for HTML is html4strict, not just ‘HTML’. You can find the full list of supported languages on the Syntax Highlighter extension page: http://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Extension:SyntaxHighlight_GeSHi#Supported_languages


The Wiki 2.0 project was implemented by User:BenWard. The visual style is derived from the original microformats.org theme by Dan Cederholm. The wiki also uses the wonderfully useful Fam Fam Fam Silk icons by Mark James.


Please report, bugs issues and requests on the wiki-2-issues page.