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From time to time, there is criticism of a single, or all, microformats. Some is constructive, other less so.

The following list makes no judgement either way, but is included for reference, and in order that microformat advocates who wish to do so, may participate in the original discussion,.

If you choose to do so, please adopt a positive helpful manner, and act as an ambassador for the microformat community.

Unless stated, titles and dates are taken from original postings, verbatim.

Please add new items to the top of the list (they can be sorted into date-of-publication order after a week or so), and replicate the format of those already there.


  • Some challenges in current DataPortability trends - 2008-02-11. Note item 2, "Many users are not aware when XFN data is included around URLs they enter, much less when the URLs are marked as rel=me. [...] Some sort of best practice text and/or iconography is required around fields that will be marked up with XFN - particularly if rel=me will be used to that users can make informed decisions about the type of data they provide and how it might be used."
  • ...


Summary: criticism is nearly all from Jukka "Yucca" Korpela. If you dig deep (do your best to dig past / ignore / filter inflammatory rhetoric and ridicule, e.g. use of the term "microbabble") you can find a few points we can use to improve microformats.

  • 2007-09-27 added to misconceptions: Web client software has to be all updated for the latest microformats which they want to support. While this would scale for a small number of well-known global microformats, it does not scale when domain-specific, or culture-specific, or company-specific microformats are added.

While it is true that currently web tools are being updated for new microformats, and bug fixes/clarifications in existing microformats, this is no different than web tools being updated to support fixes to HTML in the 1990s, or being continuously updated for the latest CSS features and fixes which they want to support.

Creating an arbitrary number of domain-specific, or culture-specific, or company-specific microformats is a non-goal. See the microformats principles.


  • Committing An Act of hEresy - Part I - 2006-12-11. Completely misrepresents microformats.
  • Use of 'abbr' in microformats - 2006-09-20. Issues: use of 'abbr'; Julian dates
  • Must Ignore vs. Microformats - 2006-07-12. Issues: "XML would be better"
  • RDFa vs microformats - 2006-05-29. Issues: lack of co-ordination & compatibility.
    • Let me say that I actually like and use µFs a lot. I just think there's a potential for a conflict with RDFa in the future, and I think that it's best for developers if that conflict doesn't happen. --Evan 21:12, 17 Jul 2007 (PDT)
  • limitations of rel="tag" microformat - 2006-01-17 Summary: Under the current draft, tags and relevant tagspaces are potentially hard to create; and it's still easy to abuse the system. Humans can still be tricked and so can the machines. It's a great spec if you happen to have a compliant directory structure, but if your site doesn't match then you either recreate your entire system... or, more likely, you sadly advise the client that tags aren't happening.

See also