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Rob Crowther, London, UK based Blogger, Web Developer, Web Designer and System Administrator - read my Curriculum Vitae

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Microformats

31/10/06

08:02:42 pm Permalink Microformats

Categories: Web Develop, Front End Web Development, Semantic Web and Microformats

I started reading Using Microformats on Safari yesterday and was inspired. You should now find hCards on both the Blog and the About Us pages on this site, and I also started applying hResume to my CV.

That's all very well, you may be saying, but what are you talking about? Let me explain, Microformats are a way of adding semantic content to your HTML markup. Unlike more traditional approaches, the entire thing is community driven and purposely lightweight. The next question you might ask would be - why? The value add is that, with the extra semantic markup, your content can be easily re-purposed by general purpose automated tools. As an example, here is a tool which converts hCard information in web pages into .vcf files suitable for importing into Outlook. Try it! Google and other search engines already pay attention to some Microformats, Yahoo has a Creative Commons Search which makes use of rel-license, and many other tools are incorporating Microformat features, particularly apps in the blogging and calendaring arenas.

You don't have to wait for Microformat support to be added into Firefox, you can have it today with the Tails extension. It doesn't yet officially support Firefox 2.0, but you can get it installed by either installing the Nightly Tester Tools or hacking the .xpi:

  1. Download the file and change the extension from .xpi to .zip
  2. You can now extract the file using your standard archive tool
  3. Open install.rdf in a text editor and find the line:

    <em:maxVersion>1.5.0.*</em:maxVersion>

  4. Replace it with:

    <em:maxVersion>2.0.0.*</em:maxVersion>

  5. Make a new zip archive of all the files you just extracted, including the install.rdf you just edited and then change the extension from .zip to .xpi
  6. In Firefox, use File->Open and select the .xpi file you just made, it should install the extension

This worked for me, though it did hang the Add Ons dialogue the first time I tried access the options it's been fine since then. Once you've got Tails installed you'll see a little icon in your status bar which lights up every time you visit a page with Microformats. Click on the lit up icon and the sidebar opens with a list of all the information found along with buttons to export it. Here's what my CV looks like:

Firefox with Tails Screenshot

Today I've been busy adding hCards to the work website (works better for X2V than Tails, but I think Tails is using an older version of the X2V XSL) and generally wondering where else I can add them.

In short - Microformats are cool &amp;#66;&amp;#41;


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Comments:

Comment from: robertc [Member] · http://www.boogdesign.com/
02/11/06 @ 01:14
The Firefox Add-Ons website doesn't give you an install link for the Tails Extension if you're using Linux - 'Tails Export is not available for Linux'. I found that, if I downloaded the .xpi file and then opened it directly in Firefox it installs and works fine.