August 17, 2006

8/17: Microformats @ Bay Area Caltech Alumni Association


Update: the organizers have helpfully provided an audio recording of the event — however it’s in a proprietary Sony .DVF format, if anyone can help convert it to MP3…

Rohit Khare will be addressing the monthly Bay Area Caltech alumni luncheon on the topic of microformats, with a question & answer period on entrepreneurship generally and CommerceNet’s role specifically. Noon, at Ming’s on Embarcadero ($15 cover including lunch).

Microformats: A Pragmatic Path to the Semantic Web
By Rohit Khare

One of the main reasons the Web is so pervasive is due to the universal acceptance of the HTML formatting language. However, HTML does not provide meaning. Microformats are a clever adaptation of semantic XHTML that makes it easier to publish, index, and extract semi-structured information such as tags, calendar entries, contact information, and reviews on the Web. This makes it a pragmatic path towards achieving the vision set forth for the Semantic Web. Even though it sidesteps the existing “technology stack” of RDF, ontologies, and Artificial Intelligence-inspired processing tools, various microformats have emerged that parallel the goals of several well-known Semantic Web projects. I will introduce the ideas behind microformats and give examples; compare to similar efforts in the Semantic Web; and compare their prospects according to Rogers’ Diffusion of Innovation model.

Dr. Rohit Khare is the Director of CommerceNet Labs, which focuses on investigating decentralized electronic commerce. Rohit is an award-winning researcher in the fields of Internet protocols and decentralized systems. He founded KnowNow in 2000 and previously worked on Internet standards development at MCI’s Internet Architecture Group and the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). He founded 4K Associates and edited the World Wide Web Journal (W3J) for O’Reilly & Associates. He received his B.S. with Honors in Engineering & Applied Science and Economics from Caltech and his Ph.D. in Software Engineering from U.C. Irvine.