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The Holy Grail

Published on Tuesday, 13 March 2007
A while back on the Joomla! forums, there was discussion about getting semantic content correctly deployed. Well, my friends, I'm glad to say it's now been well and truly done. The best example is always a live example, and that's what you're seeing when you browse through Absalom Media's site.
The basics are as follows:
  • A correctly done page title revision, as requested by Joe Eyezberg
  • hAtomised content
  • hReview comments (just doing some minor layout changes, so expect them live soon)
  • hListing weblinks, with a fully working XFN model
  • Nearly 100% tableless in the frontend. The only area still running some form of tabling is the frontend editing capacity.
  • Integration into Community Builder and JACL+, allowing a ubitiqious transfer of resources between XFN, CB and access rights
Now this has taken a while to mature, but that's okay. All good things take time. During that time Absalom Media has also extended the functionality beyond mere semantics and is delivering a seasoned, well rounded application base, both inside the Joomla! core functionality and across the third party market.

If you actually look at various aspects of the Absalom Media site, you should notice that microformat material is turning up in the strangest places. Take for example, our photo gallery. Now Flickr, as standard, deploys a microformat-based contact for your profile. What has been done here is that we have now expanded hAtomised content to include images as well, so that each individual image inside the photo stream is leveraged as part of the greater content for the website. In this way, well designed, semantic content is being published in a way that microformat search engines can find it.

To then add in more blog awareness, various Technorati based tools have been integrated and customised to deliver further value to the site, all integrating into the Microformat structure.. After all the "tag" element is actually a recognised part of hAtom, and this means better design and integration in the long term across products for Joomla!.

Considering the Joomla! community has been evangelising the benefits of the Beez template, this then brings in yet another bonus. As the Microformat Joomla! buildbase is pre-built to aim at accessibility guidelines, small, subtle fixes have been added at the template level to educate the Design & Accessibility team of Joomla! as to what's necessary to deliver a product beyond a mere mechanical pass on WCAG 1.0 AAA as well as a meaningful semantic model that iterates through JAWS 8, Window Eyes and Fangs. Considering these changes are subtle in how the Beez template should have been designed, it would require a fairly specialised response.. In this light, it's better to just to demonstrate it, which is what I've done.
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