Microformats vs the Semantic Web?

So during Xtech there was certainly some underline tension between different tribes (as Molly calls them). XHTML 2.0 working group vs the newly opened HTML 5 working group, old skool application developers vs the nu fashion framework developers vs the rich internet application designers, xml lovers vs json lovers. But one of the most interesting clashes was the Microformats tribe led by Jeremy Keith vs RDF/A lead by Steven Pemberton. When I say clash I really mean a little ribbing here and there but yes it was noticeable. There wasn't a showdown like BarCampLondon2, no that would be silly (smile).

Well its not over by a long shot. When Jeremy shot the video above using my camera at the end of Xtech, I was impressed. The fact it can be done with one extra plugin is great and testment to the Microformats movement. However in the same breath, I was talking to Andy Budd and as he had attended the session about XHTML 2.0? session. He had a new respect for the hard work and hard decisions the W3C have to make everyday, he just wished it could be more open and a little quicker. Another thing happened just after Xtech to do with this debate. Uche who wasn't at Xtech (missed you Uche, but met your friend) posted up a blog entry to put some dynamite in the debateTom Morris has a good response to Uche.

I did a interview with Steven Pemberton and Michael Smith both of the W3C, I want to put it up but it needs a little editing and encoding. I ask some tricky questions including the debate over microformats but whats interesting is Stevens point about the Canvas element. Apple developed the specification then tried to pass it through the W3C. The W3C looked at it and pointed out that it was totally in-accessible. This is the reason why the W3C are very important when looking into the future. They have the long term view in their sights. We may moan about how slow things develop but there quite accepting of Microformats now, and I'm sure even Steven will smile when he see the video from Jeremy.

We're all working in the same direction, lets never forget that…

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Author: Ianforrester

Senior firestarter at BBC R&D, emergent technology expert and serial social geek event organiser.