Microformats

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Microformats are an HTML standard that express people, events, reviews, recipes, datestamped content, and other structured data in web pages in a way that makes them easily usable by web browser, search engines, and other web crawlers.

Web browsers in particular are able to associate the data with particular actions and provide a richer user experience for pages marked up with microformats.

Common Microformats

Projects

Platform

Firefox has some microformats parsing support in the Toolkit "product", microformats "component":

Use Cases

  • Social Bookmarking: Microformats can be passed to share, bookmarking, read-it-later, etc. style services to enable "rich pinning" of objects in the page.
  • Shopping: Microformats such as hReview, hProduct, and hListing support rich markup of products, useful in shopping carts, watching products for updates, product comparison shopping, etc.
  • automatically detecting venues, people, contacts, events, locations and integrating with built-in contacts, calendar, and mapping user interfaces.

Benefits

  • Better control by content producers
  • Easy manipulation of data by clients without server side involvement
  • Accurate data collection by services

Firefox Implementation Introduction

For background information on microformat detection, please see this series of blog posts by Alex Faaborg:

User Experience

  • Brainstorming page about the user experience of microformat detection, please feel free to contribute any design work, or to comment on these conceptual mockups.
  • Information about about the user interface of microformat detection can also be found on the microformats.org wiki

Firefox 3

Implementation

Michael Kaply is working on the microformats implementation in Firefox 3. There is some overlap with the content handling work being done by Dan Mosedale, and Alex Faaborg is working on the user interface.

Module

microformats is implemented in a module in Firefox.