Wulf's Webden

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Web Design: Microformats & Atom Feeds

New Website / Old Website

Two of the features of tne new site have been in place for some months because I was able to introduce them as subtle enhancements to the previous version of the site:

Microformats
Microformats are ways of embedding meaningful information in a webpage. For example, if you use a microformat-enabled browser, you could visit any page of the site and extract the address of the department. Another example is found on the list of seminars in 2009. Again, given a suitable browser, any of the events could be extracted from the page and dropped into a diary application. If you use Firefox as a web browser, you can install the Operator add-on, which automatically detects highlights available information marked up with a range of microformats.
Atom Feeds
I manage to keep up with a large number of different websites by using the feeds they make available. Many use versions of RSS but modern news readers can also understand feeds in the Atom format, which was designed to overcome limitations and stagnation with the earlier standard. The NDORMS website presents feeds for news, seminars and job vacancies.

Both of these features are aimed at making the site an information resource which gives people options about how to browse and keep up to date with departmental information rather than just expecting them to log back in frequently and thoroughly read each page.

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