Accessibility problems with microformats

By guest blogger Sarah Bourne, Chief Technology Strategist for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

In a recent posting here on The future of RDFa, I described some of the advantages of RDFa compared with some of the disadvantages of microformats. When Massachusetts Commonwealth Chief Technology Strategist Sarah Bourne posted a comment about problems that microformats present for website accessibility, I asked her to elaborate, and she was kind enough to put this together for me.

Metadata data entry

Who (or what), and why.

How do we assign metadata to data? Ontologies often say “here is some information about the metadata we’d like to have for our data”, but the actual assignment of metadata that conforms to an ontology is usually more work than developing the ontology. Who assigns this metadata, and why do they do it? You have three choices: people who do it because they’re paid to, people who do it because they want to, and automated processes. I’m reading up on doing it with…

I’ve always been a bit confused by the various library-related metadata standards. Recently while researching one of them I found an excellent PowerPoint presentation summarizing most of them by the OCLC’s Eric Childress called Metadata Standards. (While I’m on the subject of the OCLC, don’t miss The Onion’s mention of them last August.) He has individual slides on MARC 21, MODS, METS, ONIX, EAD, MIX, and more. He gets bonus points for adding descriptive comments to…