Chapter 20. Data Connectivity with Microformats


  • Why microformats?

  • An example microformat — hCard

  • Another example — geolocation data

  • So how do I implement microformats?

  • Summary

Microformats are a relatively new methodology for marking up data within a Web document to enable connectivity with other sites. Microformats are one of the technologies designed to provide data-level connectivity between sites and individual documents. The best thing about microformats is that they use existing technologies and are fairly unobtrusive when used in your typical documents. This chapter provides an introduction to the technology and shows you how to implement it.

Why Microformats?

HTML is a great mechanism for formatting information for display in various formats. By contrast, XML is a great format for encapsulating data for consumption by humans and machines alike.

Microformats provide a marriage between these two technologies, providing a means to encapsulate essential data while keeping it easy to distribute and parse the information.

So, why use a different format of tagging for microformats? Because HTML and XML were designed to provide data in formats that can't always be easily parsed into pertinent information. Also, HTML and XML were designed to be machine, not human readable. There needs to be a way to span the gap. The microformat language is simplified and bent toward the goals of the microformat — to provide information that is easy to find, collect, understand, and process. ...

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