Published 19 years, 1 month past

Along with many other people, I’ve been talking about microformats over the past several months.  Now they have a home: microformats.org.  It’s primarily a community site, a place where people interested in microformats can congregate and share ideas.  It’s also a central point from which new microformats can be created and advanced.  There are pointers to mailing lists, an IRC channel, a weblog, and more.

If you’re interested in a quick introduction to microformats, I highly recommend the leadoff comment in the weblog.  It’s a great introduction to the what, whys, and wherefores of microformats.  The collection of links it’s carrying around is pretty nice, too.

I don’t know for certain how the whole microformats effort will turn out, but more to the point I don’t feel I have to know.  Right now, the low entry barrier and amount of promise shown by microformats makes them extremely compelling, as I think the information on the new site demonstrates.  To echo Tantek, I’ll let the market decide how they’re used, whether they’re a good idea at all, and what shape they take over the long term.

All I know is that I feel the same way about microformats as I felt about CSS, back when I first encountered it.  My instincts tell me, as they did then, that this is important, that it has almost undreamt potential, that it can change the way we build and use the Web.

Comments (8)

  1. I had a quick look and so far, it looks fantastic. I had no idea there were already so many microformats, a few of which I’d never heard of. I’ll have a better read through it all later and even see if I have time to contribute – I have some ideas for a microformat that I’ve been thinking about.

  2. Here is my response to John Oxton’s recent comments on Microformats (please relate this to his article: http://joshuaink.com/blog/351/first-impressions-of-microformats)

    By the way – none of this is critical of you or the obvious benefits of Microformats – they are just my comments:


    “John: I think you might have hit the nail on the head already in your comments (above):

    I was a little surprised then to learn it was “just” XHTML after all.

    ……#I”m looking around me as if to say, “Hey, has anyone else but you and me realised this?” #

    Seriously – I think “Microformats” is getting hyped-up by some people trying to make it more “techy” than it actually is and claiming that “variations” of xhtml/xml are somehow “NEW” formats all of their own….hmm, I”m rather cynical of this. I”m not disputing the great qualities of the Microformats and there is obvioulsy a lot of potential for their uptake to increase…but…this is nothing as profound as the arrival of CSS3, the phenomenon of Blogging, or even the possible spec of xhtml 2+. Nice as they are – Microformats are giving me the impression of the Web”s idea of “Post It” notes…not really ground-breaking is it?

    Andy: I”ve just arrived at this Blog from Eric”s and read that exact article…and then I looked at the Microformats site…and I”m not seeing the greatness there (nice site in it”s own rights – oh yes). I think Eric is perhaps getting too excited about something because it”s “NEW” and because the xhtml is already familiar too him on a sub-concious level…so he feels an attachment to it (err, so to speak).”


  3. Matt, as I said on John’s site:

    For me, the beauty of the thing is that it is pure and simple XHTML. We’re back where we started fifteen years ago, marking up content in a meaningful and pure way. Don’t underestimate the power because there is no complex new technology to learn. This is about concepts of the web.

    The trick…. is to make sure that each limited mechanical part of the Web, each application, is within itself composed of simple parts that will never get too powerful.
    —Tim Berners-Lee, Weaving The Web

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