Microformats, Online Payments and Typography

These were the topics that we talked about during the second Darwin Web Standards meetup.

Microformats

At the last meetup we talked about Microdata and how that the implementation of this feature will go a long way to making a more semantic web. The basic concept is that you can take a chunk of information, like a series of event listings, and apply Vocabulary declarations (for Microdata) or specific class attributes (for Microformats) and turn the information into something that a machine can understand.

This week we took a look at a few real world examples including:

In the past week I noticed that Microformats are much more common than Microdata, and during that quest for knowledge came across the FireFox Addon – Operator. The add on is activated when you visit a page that contains Microformats (doesn’t work for Microdata) and it allows you to add events directly to your Google Calendar. Try it out. It’s Cool!

We have convinced, hopefully, Ciaran to head off and add these tags to his own site and tell us how he got along at the next meet up.

Online Payments

As you might have seen from our last post we had a question come through from Bianca about Online Payment facilities. Peter came back with a fairly detailed answer which we discussed during the meet up as well as looking at a range of providers.

  • Business CatalystFully Functional – Michael Hawkes from Captovate mentioned these guys as one of the top shelf options when it comes to ecommerce requirements.
  • Mal’s EcommerceFully Functional – Ian Symonds from Dialog mentioned Mal’s ecommerce as an other end of the scale alternative to business catalyst.
  • ShopifyHosted Shop – Justin Avery shared the next few. Shopify offers an AMAZING competition each year.
  • BigcartelHosted Shop – Very simlar to Shopify
  • EtsyHosted Shop – Simlary to Big Cartel but is more Artsy
  • EventbriteEvent Management – There is very little customisation to the pages on offer here, but handles everything else you might need around running an event.
  • EventarcEvent Management – Richard from Captovate mentioned this as one he has used before. Sounds similar to Eventbrite but allows for much more customisation of the pages.

Typography & Responsive Design

  • EM Calculator – EM’s are tough to keep track of, especially as they’re worked off their immediate parent rather than the root EM (unless you want to try ‘rem‘.
  • Typekit – Add a line of code to your pages and choose from hundreds of web fonts. Simple, bulletproof, standards compliant, accessible, and totally legal.
  • Font Squirrel – If you’ve already got the fonts you want to use then this tool is for you. Simply upload your fonts and you get the .ttf, .eot, .woff, .svg conterpart and some example CSS to get you going.
  • Google Fonts – Google come up with yet another great free tool with their own font service. Don’t worry about hosting your own, get it from them
  • Cufon is something that Richard has used before during one of his client implementations. It’s a bit older than the others, but it’s all horses for courses
  • Nice Web Type has a great list of tools for getting started with web typography. It’s not just about the fonts!
  • IAResponsive Design – Information Architects do an amazing job of responsive design.
  • If you’re after a little bit more information about Typography then I highly recommend you picking up the 5 Simple Steps book Designing for the Web.

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