Introduction to Microformats

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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 "plain old semantic HTML" (i.e. "POSH") with a set of common class-names and "rel" values. 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 organizations to publish richer information themselves, without having to rely upon centralized services
  3. an acknowledgement that (outside of specialist areas) "traditional" metadata efforts (e.g. meta tags) have either failed or taken so long to garner any adoption, that a new approach was necessary
  4. a way to use well formed HTML for data.

The Appeal to Simplicity

One parallel that has been drawn is to REST in the API / web services world - for more on REST see suggested reading on REST.

Get Started

It's easy to get started with microformats:

Learn More

Learn more about microformats from the microformats.org

See Also

External Resources

Translations

Introduction to Microformats was last modified: Sunday, April 7th, 2013

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