Microformats, the BBC and friends

I recently had the job of letting the microformats community know that the BBC were having to drop hCalendar due to accessibility concerns surrounding the use of abbr and the date-time pattern.

My friend and colleague Jake Archibald published a summary of what’s happened so far, what the current alternative suggestions are and the BBC’s take on them. It’s a useful read if you want to catch-up and see where we are.

I think the best thing to come out of this is probably that we’re talking about actual alternatives again rather than just waiting for more evidence (which often feels like a get-out clause for inaction). Whether we’re doing that right though… well, we’ll see. I appreciate the apprehension that comes with changing something that’s already had some seal of “yep.. good to go.. use it!” – no one wants to get this “wrong” again. Equally though, I really do hope we can come to a compromise and “solve” the problem this time. Extending HTML 4 was ever going to be especially pretty, but bear with us (please don’t mention HTML 5 to me – it’s for your own good).

On lighter notes, here’s a couple interesting microformatty things:

And lastly, I wanted to mention that I should hopefully have details on the next London Microformats vEvent very soon.

Based on feedback from the last event we held during London Web Week, Drew and I are planning a “Getting Started” event, with back-to-basics semantics and microformats implementations.

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