★★★★★ Microformats: Empowering Your Markup for Web 2.0 by John Allsopp (Friends of Ed, 2007) is a terrific book that tells you everything you need to know to begin using microformats well right now. I’ve been fascinated with microformats for a couple of years now and use the hReview format for book reviews. I’m also using hCard. This book inspired and educated me to other types of microformats and opened up new possibiliites for semantic markup in my mind.
Microformats are design patterns using existing semantic HTML to create formats for specific types of markup.
Allsopp summarizes the principles behind microformats. Microformats
- solve a specific problem
- start as simply as possible
- are designed for humans first, machines second
- reuse building blocks from widely adopted standards
- are modular and embeddable
- enable and encourage decentralized development, content and services
The book describes microformats that may be familiar to you already such as hCard (contact information for people and organizations), hCalendar (events), XFN (relationships between people), and hReview (reviews, like this one). Included also are less familiar microformats such as geo (location), adr (addresses), and hResume (resumes), and hAtom (subscriptions). Link based microformats such as rel-license, rel-tag, rel-nofollow, and VoteLinks are explained.
There are examples including code and real-world examples for each of the clearly described microformats. There are two case studies: Cork’d and Yahoo. There’s a chapter on developing microformats including how to create a draft schema for the format. The appendices include a microformats specification reference, a microformat design patterns reference, and an appendix listing people, tools, publishers and services.