Microformat – the Roadmap to Semantic Web ?

Microformat – the Roadmap to Semantic Web ??

The Internet community really likes to idea and opportunities of Semantic technologies but are pretty reluctant to implement a fully fledged Semantic Web Infrastructure

Why ?

Lets look at the current Semantic Web perception

  • Semantic Web is complex

  • needs a lot of ontology work before you can start building something useful

  • needs a lot of base infrastructure (Triple store, RDF bus, Ontology Management etc.)

  • has no prove of scalability

  • What is the business case ???

  • etc.

While I agree with some of the arguments (e.g. complexity) I strongly believe that the Semantic Web has huge potential and
will revolutionize the Web by adding semantic context to future web applications.


But is there a way to start small and simple?

The answer is YES and the technology is called Microformat

Microformat are designed for humans first and machines second and are a set of simple, open data formats built upon existing and widely adopted standards. .
(See http://microformats.org/about for more details)

or in simple words: Microformat is a way to embed Semantics into XHMTL.


The advantages of Microformat are:

  • pre-defined vocabulary

  • very easy to implement ( It took us a couple of hours to add Microformat support to our CE 2.0 stack)

  • easy way to dynamically build mashup services based on Microformat


Microformat have a lot of momentum and gain rapid support from big companies

Examples:

and last but not least there are already some “bridges” from Microformat to RDF

http://www.w3.org/2004/01/rdxh/spec

http://dannyayers.com/2005/08/01/microformats-on-the-grddl/


A special thanks to Jiri Kopsa who educated me a lot on Microformat!




Technorati Tags: web2.0 CE2.0 microformat semantic web

Comments:

Hi Thanks for the link to Teqlo. You could think about Teqlo as a mashup platform, but you can also think of it as an integration service. Whenever you are integrating two or more web services, data normalization is a natural step. Using small XML schema that can be connected like so many building blocks is a great way to accomplish this. And that's why we love the idea of Microformats. Rod

Posted by Rod Boothby on April 17, 2007 at 05:08 PM CEST #

Hi Peter, it´s a good strategy to approach the semantic web in little steps. But maybe it´s also worth to evaluate if the next step could be skipped. I was thinking about the differences between microformats and RDFa. People, who understood the advantages of microformats easily understand RDFa. So we´ve collected some informations about RDFa (http://www.semantic-web.at/32.52.245.catchword.rdf-a.htm), and the best thing about it is, that you can extract RDF triples out of XHTML/RDFa (and SPARQL it). Have a look at Elias Torrez RDFa-Extractor!

Posted by Andreas on April 20, 2007 at 09:47 AM CEST #

Hi Peter! Thanks for mentioning. I can't wait so see your progress in CE 2.0!!

Posted by Jiri Kopsa on April 21, 2007 at 06:26 PM CEST #

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