Splatforms and Microformats

Posted on September 16, 2010
Filed Under Splatforms | 1 Comment | Share this post via splatforms.com

If you are not familiar with microformats, you should really head on over to Microformats.org and check out the whole concept. Cool stuff. At least it seems that way to us.

If you are not familiar with splatforms, or *forms as we like to write it here at Splatforms.com, then you might want to first have a look at this and maybe this. Or better yet, just go sign up for a free account, log in, and check it out yourself. We happen to think that this is really cool stuff, too, but then we have just a little bit of a bias, so we’ll let you make that determination all on your own.

There is not really a one-to-one correlation between *forms and microformats, but of the five *forms that we currently support, two of them are linked directly to corresponding microformats: the Event *form is roughly equivalent to an hCalendar and the Contact *form is comparable to an hCard. At this point in our evolution, we do not support every single data element or construct of either the hCalendar or the hCard, but the basic concept as far as what those entities represent is pretty much the same on both sides of the fence.

What makes that useful is that we can leverage the power of microformats on both sides of the *forms: finding data to load in to a *form and formatting data that comes out of a *form. On the in-bound side of things, our *form Loader: MF, adapted directly from the Microformats Bookmarklet by Remy Sharp, detects hCards and hCalendar entries on a page, and then loads the harvested data directly into the corresponding *form fields. On the out-bound side of things, Task developers are encouraged to format any data that can be represented as a microformat in accordance with the standards and techniques that have been set up for this purpose.

By employing microformats on both ends of the transaction, you can find find an event on some microformat-enabled web site, use your *form Loader: MF to dump the data into an Event *form, include a microformat-enabled blog entry as one of your out-bound Tasks, which will then publish the event on your blog as an hCalendar as well. Then if someone else happens to come along over at your site, they can use their *form Loader: MF to dump the data into an Event *form of their own, and then they can put it on their 30 Boxes (or any other!) calendar as one of their outbound Tasks.

Not all *forms have a corresponding microformat, and not all microformats have a corresponding *form, but where there is an alignment, it creates some real nice possibilities to do some interesting stuff. We’re looking forward to doing even more in the future.


One Response to “Splatforms and Microformats”

  1. Build Your Own *form Task, part 3 | Top SEO News on September 10th, 2011 2:51 am

    […] *forms are one of two *form Types that can be represented as microformats (the other is the Contact *form). Many Tasks that post Event *form data target calendar web sites […]