introduction

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Introduction to Microformats


What are Microformats?

Microformats are a way of adding simple markup to human-readable data items such as events, contact details or locations, on web pages, so that the information in them can be extracted by software and indexed, searched for, saved, cross-referenced or combined.

More technically, they are items of semantic markup, using just standard (X)HTML with a set of common class-names. They are open and available, freely, for anyone to use.

Why Microformats

Why did we come up with microformats?

In short, microformats are the convergence of a number of trends:

  1. a logical next step in the evolution of web design and information architecture
  2. a way for people and organisations to publish richer information themselves, without having to rely upon centralized services
  3. an acknowledgment that (outside of specialist areas) "traditional" metadata efforts have either failed or taken so long to garner any adoption, that a new approach was necessary
  4. a way to use (X)HTML for data.

The Appeal to Simplicity

  • Microformats are a simple effort which has appealed to many frustrated with previous complex efforts.

See also