Why I Hate Microformats

July 12, 2006 commentary 2 min read

Robert Cooper: They are a hack to get around a problem that is going away VERY shortly.

I’ve been using microformats more and more in my recent development. Even though I have yet to really find them useful personally, I think they are great concept. Anything that makes content more accessible is a step in the right direction.

But I have to say, Robert Cooper makes a great point: “The problem is, this is a serious abuse of HTML.” XML already has a solution to deal with this problem, namespaces. The problem is just that IE doesn’t support namespaces in CSS, so you can’t style anything but plain HTML. Well, with 7 on the horizon, this problem goes away.

So why are we still using microformats? You could say it’s so that they are accessible to IE users, but I imagine microformats are really only used by a segment of the early adopters. How many IE users are seriously using them? Besides, it wouldn’t be to difficult to write some Javascript to transform the XML into style-able HTML. That would at least be a temporary solution until IE 7 is released main stream. And By that time, maybe the use of the new “microformats” would be more mainstream.

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avatar of Brandon Keepers I am Brandon Keepers, and I work at GitHub on making Open Source more approachable, effective, and ubiquitous. I tend to think like an engineer, work like an artist, dream like an astronaut, love like a human, and sleep like a baby.