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.

London Microformats vEvent

It was the end of 2006 when Drew Mclellan and I threw the last microformat event in London and now it’s almost 2008 and we haven’t had another. Cryin’ shame, I say.

So, we’re going to hold another event. We’re ironing out the details, but the bones of it will be a mostly social event in London in the early part of 2008, with a couple of interesting people talking about the latest microformat and semantic web related things and some beer thrown in for good measure.

To help us out though, we’d really appreciated it if you could register your interest in such an event on the microformats.org wiki. The page you need to visit is here: http://microformats.org/wiki/events/2008-london-microformats-vevent We’ll also be filling up that page with the details as they happen, so do keep an eye on it.

Note: If you don’t fancy signing up to the wiki, don’t worry about it. Drop a comment here and I’ll add you.

vEvent Reminder

p>Just a quicky reminder.

This Saturday (30th) is Drew and I’s Microformat vEvent social in London. You can find all the details and who else is stopping by at the upcoming.org event page.

As I said before – it’s just a low-key social for those in the Microformats loop. So no specific plans or pressure – stop by for a drink is all we ask.

I’ve chatted about it to a couple people, and some have said they’d like a more formal event in the future. So… if the scene looks like it’d be good for it I may well try to organise something (and already have a couple of speaker volunteers). Watch this space, eh?

Also – yes, it’s true. I’m off to SXSW in March, over in Austin, Texas! Can you say excited?

Microformats London social

Drew Mclellan (developer of the awesome hKit) and I have discussed a Microformats Social here in the UK for a while but never got anywhere with it, but now we’ve named a date and want to see levels of interest.

We’ve gone for a Saturday – 30th September. So, it’s a little breather after the upcoming events. If you think you can make it, please register your interest either on the wiki page, or the upcoming.org events page. Drop a comment to say if you’d like to do something in particular on one of those pages or on here. This is mostly designed to be a social, but it’ll be an opportunity to discuss any projects you’ve got on the go, get more involved, or clarify any problems you might be having.

We were thinking a trip to a microbrewery would be appropriate – so if you know of one in London which is easily accessible (i.e. near a tube) and wouldn’t mind a hoard of microformateers visiting, let us know about that too.

If you’re at BarCampLondon or d.Construct then you can always talk to us about it there too (or we may draft you into coming along!).