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.