microformats are extensions to HTML for marking up notes, people, organizations, events, locations, blog posts, products, reviews, resumés, recipes etc. Sites use microformats to publish a standard API that is consumed and used by search engines, aggregators, and other tools.
For vocabulary-specific reasons and use cases, see the following:
Guides and examples on how to publish microformats:
- Getting Started with microformats 2
- The “how” sections on pages for each format, e.g.
Resources for consuming microformats:
The IndieWeb makes heavy use of:
- h-card to mark up profiles and authors in published posts, then consumed by code (e.g. reply-contexts, readers) for authorship and more.
- h-entry to markup posts, replies, etc., then consumed by code for displaying, summarizing, replying.
- h-feed to create feeds of published posts on a blog or feeds of collections of information.
- in-reply-to to markup links from replies to original posts, then consumed by code for displaying comments, comment threads, etc.
- XFN for relationships, and identity consolidation (rel=me), consumed by code for IndieAuth etc.
Other formats are in use by IndieWeb community members. See resumé for examples of the h-resume microformat in use.
There is a fuller list of implementations on the microformats wiki. Here are some used by the indieweb community:
- Most Webmention receivers will parse Microformats when receiving webmentions for replies
- indiewebify me - a step by step markup guide and validator
- unmung - a feed to mf2 transalator, and an mf2 parser based on mf2py
- pin13.net - Aaron's PHP-based parser.
Are microformats an API
Q: Are microformats an API?
A: No, microformats are more like the information returned from an API.
HTTP GET of a particular URL of a website can be an API. microformats in the resulting HTML provide the information you might otherwise get from a bespoke API.
Thus combining HTTP, good site URL design, and microformats, your site can be your API. No separate XML/RDF/JSON/??? API endpoints needed. At least for readonly. For a write "API", see micropub.
A: Actually, yes, microformats are the simplest way of providing a read-only API, also known as "your website is your API".
Why not APIs
Q: Why not APIs instead of microformats?
A: See API, in short:
- secondary URLs
- secondary formats
- API key
- TOS requirements
- Unique snowflakes