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Microformats and FOAF
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Microformats and FOAF


Using XHTML to make user content machine readable.

Using XHTML to make user content machine readable.

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  • One of the purposes of HTML initially was to display a webpages characteristics (such as use of italics). Use of CSS sheets shifted the design of sites to be interpretted rather than stated... E.g use of emphasis may vary from CSS designs


  • 1. By Daniel Cassidy
    Microformats and FOAF
  • 2. Background: The Semantic Web
    What do these sentences mean to you?
    “I’m off to ComicCon on the 25-02-10 in London, who’s in?”
    -Jess Smith, social networker extraordinaire
    Hi! My name’s Joseph and welcome to my site, I live in my mansion in San Fran, work for Google and am a big fan of MJ’s music.
    -Joe Bloggs, amateur blogger
    What do these sentences really mean to a machine?...
  • 3. What are Microformats?
    A markup language in XHTML and HTML designed to make natural language machine processable.
    Uses common class-names and "rel" values
    <span class="vcard">
    <a class="fn url" href="http://jo-blggr.tk/">Joseph Bloggs</a>,
    <span class="org vcard">
    <a class="url fn org" href=“www.google.com">Google</a></span>
  • 4. Example Microformats
    People and Organizations hCard, XFN
    Calendars and Events hCalendar
    Opinions, Ratings and Reviews VoteLinks, hReview
    Licenses: rel-license
    Tags, Keywords, Categories rel-tag
    Lists and Outlines XOXO
    Most popular formats: hCard, hCalendar, XFN (XTML Friends Network),
  • 5. And FOAF?
    FOAF (Friend of a Friend) is a way for machines to understand social relationships and users.
    E.g. Joe Bloggs is a fan of Michael Jackson, has a girlfriend called Jess and had met Jess’ friend ‘Dave’.
    <a href="http://michaeljackson.com/" rel="follower not met">MJ</a>
    <a href="http://jessisthebest.net/" rel="sweetheart date met">Jane</a>
    <a href="http://Davestoppatippas.net/" rel="met acquaintance">Dave</a>
  • 6. Benefits
    Useful for: Crawlers, spiders, web aggregators.
    Reduces need for human admin/input.
    May improve Search traffic to websites/quality of traffic/relevance to profiled users (e.g. People with google accounts)
    Increasing integration of semantic text in a way that benefits users:
    Accessing and archiving data better.
    One format for both humans and machines to understand (vs. XML languages)
    Understanding relationships and our contributions across multiple disaggregated sites.
    Flexibility for users to do it ‘their own way’ without any disadvantages. E.g. Blog vs. Facebook
    Ubiquity – “get-vcard”
  • 7. Drawbacks
    Still in development. (‘follower’ vs. ‘fan’)
    Host’s document needs to support XHTML
    Will increase the demand on bandwidth as data gets richer (e.g. RSS feeds and other syndication services)
    Still a degree of rigidity and inherently will become more complex.
    Dangers of machine accessible information
  • 8. Useful examples/further research
    http://hresume.weblogswork.com/hresumecreator/(for those looking to publicise themselves on the web for their next job...)
    http://gmpg.org/xfn/intro (examples of the XFN microformat)
    http://codebits.eu/intra/s/session/79 (if you have 45mins spare...interesting though.)
  • 9. hCalendar: “I’m off to ComicCon on the 25-02-10 in London, who’s in?”
    <div id="hcalendar-comicon" class="vevent"><a href="http://www.londonfilmandcomiccon.com/" class="url"><abbr title="2010-02-25" class="dtstart">February 25th</abbr>, <abbr title="2010-02-25" class="dtend"> 2010</abbr> <span class="summary">comicon</span> at <span class="location">London</span></a><div class="tags">Tags: <a href="http://eventful.com/events/tags/Comiccon" rel="tag">Comiccon</a></div></div>
  • 10. Any Questions? 