Microformats are set of formats designed to solve a specific problem by reusing building blocks of widely adopted standards. Its simplicity and principles are interconnected and intertwined with the current state of our web now.

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).

Some Major Information from Microformat’s Website:

microformats are:

  • a way of thinking about data
  • design principles for formats
  • highly correlated with semantic XHTML, AKA the real world semantics, AKA lowercase semantic web, AKA lossless XHTML
  • a set of simple open data format standards that many are actively developing and implementing for more/better structured blogging and web microcontent publishing in general.

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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