Posts filed under ‘semantic’
Recently, I’ve been looking at microformats, a method of adding semantic markup to existing HTML. I’ve been modifying content in the Metadata pages on the public wiki to provide additional information, which is available via a plug-in such as the Operator extension for Firefox. Offering little or no visual difference, the markup provides increased functionality over standard HTML by enclosing content within named classes.
For example, the front page of the Metadata page shows contact information for me and Phil. Rather than simply offering static content, the information has been wrapped in an hCard (similar to a vcard), so that either of can be easily exported as a contact. Similarly, our university address can be used in a maps application, eg, Google Maps to provide a quick reference point.
I’m quite interested in the perceived benefits of this, as hCalendar can also be used to provide information on events. By having extra information readily available, it can provide the user with enhanced information regarding some sort of event – imagine a SIG meeting page with a generated link to the location on Google Maps, rather than forcing the author to copy-and-paste some horrendously-long URL for users to navigate to themselves? And why not offer the easy import of the event into a user’s calendar application instead of manually adding an entry?
These are extremely simple to create using microformats. I’d be interested to learn of thoughts on including this sort of information on the main public conference page, although there is a problem with using
abbr tags in the wiki, which prevents from being registered correctly and thus means events cannot be exported to a calendar application. They do, however, work in a standard webpage.
There are other formats, such as XOXO for lists and outlines, and rel-tag for author-designated tags. The Google Maps API blog contains a post on microformats from around seven weeks ago which should provide a very brief overview of the benefits within the mapping world.
Do any of you use microformats? Let me know.