All in the <head> – Ponderings and code by Drew McLellan –

Can Your Website be Your API?

WSG Microformats: Drew points to The Light This last week I had the pleasure of giving a presentation for the Web Standards Group London microformats special. I was presenting alongside Norm who was giving some of the background into microformats, and Jeremy, who was covering day-to-day use as well as showing some of the tools that are currently available.

I’d chosen to speak on the subject of “Can your website be your API?”, with the aim of demonstrating how the use of semantic markup and microformats on your public-facing pages could obsolete a lot of common read-heavy API methods. A good example of this is the standard Flickr profile page, which provides more information in its published hCard than is available through the corresponding flickr.people.getInfo API call. All good fun.

I think the presentation went pretty well, even though I’ve not done a huge amount of that kind of thing before. Giving a 30 minute presentation is a fairly daunting thing, but being quite well prepared and having nearly 70 slides to work through really helped. Now I’ve done it, I’d probably be comfortable agreeing to do something similar again. Feedback has been good, which is reassuring, as when you spend a lot of time thinking about an issue it can be difficult to get enough perspective to see if you’re teaching people to suck eggs or not. On the whole, it seems like it was a new concept to most people there, yet one which is easily grokable, which is about perfect.

As well as the slides linked to above (which are not much use on their own) the WSG podcast feed has the audio from the event. If none of that’s your bag, and you’re still interested, I’ll hopefully be writing the whole lot up as an article pretty soon. More on that as I have it.

The photo above is by Faruk Ateş, who has a number of shots from the evening.