Microformat – the Roadmap to Semantic Web ?
By me on Apr 17, 2007
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
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 ???
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
are designed for humans first and machines second and are a set of
simple, open data formats built upon existing and widely adopted
(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:
People & organization -> hcard
Calendar & events -> hcalendar
Tags, Keywords, Categories -> htags
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
Yahoo! applications such as Flickr, upcoming.org, and Tech or LinkedIn are already exposing their data in microformats
New startups are using Microformats for dynamic mashup builder e.g. http://www.teqlo.com
Microformats are also used by Microsoft's live clipboard.
IBM is using microformats in there QEDWiki
There are plugins for Firefox that recognize Microformats and do pretty interesting things with them (such as "add to calendar"
and last but not least there are already some “bridges” from Microformat to RDF
A special thanks to Jiri Kopsa who educated me a lot on Microformat!