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Monday, October 13, 2008

Introduction to Microformats

Designed for humans first and machines second, microformats are a set of simple, open data formats built upon existing and widely adopted standards. Instead of throwing away what works today, microformats intend to solve simpler problems first by adapting to current behaviors and usage patterns (e.g. XHTML, blogging).

microformats are:

microformats are not:

  • a new language
  • infinitely extensible and open-ended
  • an attempt to get everyone to change their behavior and rewrite their tools
  • a whole new approach that throws away what already works today
  • a panacea for all taxonomies, ontologies, and other such abstractions
  • defining the whole world, or even just boiling the ocean
  • any of the above

the microformats principles

  • solve a specific problem
  • start as simple as possible
  • design for humans first, machines second
  • reuse building blocks from widely adopted standards
  • modularity / embeddability
  • enable and encourage decentralized development, content, services

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