The Microformats vEvent that wasn’t

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Having missed the opening party, my introduction to London Web Week was last night’s Microformats vEvent. Unfortunately it wasn’t a good introduction, for two reasons;

First (and foremost), it wasn’t really about Microformats. The first speaker talked about RDFa and GRDDL, the second about RDFa and FOAF.

Second, the presumption was that we had an extremely high level of technical knowledge; a presumption that wasn’t true, in my case at least. I’m fairly new to Microformats but I have a pretty good idea of what they’re about; both talks went over my head anyway. And my poor wife, who’s learning about them for the first time, had no idea what was going on.

The description of the event said:

We hope that no matter your experience level, you’ll find the evening informative, enjoyable and inspiring.

I didn’t. In fact, it may well have been counter‐productive for me; it took a subject I’m excited about, and made it sound complicated and boring.

I’m sure that some people would have got a lot out of it — the man next to me who’s studying for his pHD in artificial intelligence certainly seemed to enjoy it — but I think the organisers should have been more honest about the technical knowledge required, and saved some attendees a bit of time.

I did get a book for asking a question, however, so it wasn’t a total loss.

3 comments on
“The Microformats vEvent that wasn’t”

  1. I agree that it was targeted wrongly, that’s why I asked if it is possible to do GRDDL without XSL, as I know that XSL is very counter‐intuitive and definitively not productive.

    The message that Tom tried to get through (but it was obscured by the example code) was that microformats are great, but you can do more, more not in the sense of RDF, SPARQL or other things; but in the idea that there is a mechanism by which you can state the relationships between the pieces of data you expose by microformats.

    Well, why you should do *this* more? Well, because maybe the browser in the future will be more clever and show this, or infer some important things from this; and also because Yahoo! is tapping into this kind of semantics to empower their search results.

    Laurian Gridinoc [May 28th, 2008, 17:56]

  2. At least I hope you enjoy my book! Hopefully it will hit the spot for both your and your wife’s needs


  3. @Laurian; Nice to meet you on Tuesday. Yes, I think I got that from the talks, and I agree with it; but it was really an RDFa Event, which I found annoying.

    @John: I’m looking forward to it.