hAccessibility: BBC drop hCalendar microformat

Almost two years after I first raised the issue (to a reaction from the cabal that runs the microformats “community” which began with denial and moved to hostility) the BBC have stopped using the hCalendar microformat due to accessibility concerns.

Maybe now something can be done to incorporate one of the several, more accessible proposed work-arounds, into the relevant standards?

Thanks to Bruce Lawson and Patrick Lauke for breaking the news.

Update: Patrick now has a post on the subject, at webstandards.org

About Andy Mabbett

Enjoying my freelance career, helping organisations to understand on-line communities, open content, and related issues; often as a Wikimedian (or Wikipedian) in Residence.
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5 Responses to hAccessibility: BBC drop hCalendar microformat

  1. pigsonthewing says:

    See also Griffin Caprio’s comment:

    “I’m not sure I have enough faith in the Microformats community to come to an agreement on this topic. In my short time following the various Microformats mailing lists, I quickly became disillusioned with the community and administrators. I witnessed several instances of heavy handed administration, including the banning of users. Frequently, no real reason was given and I was left w/ the impression that it wasn’t much of a community after all.”

  2. simon gray says:

    the question is, should those of the rest of us who have been bothering to use them so far (sometimes adding small but still significant time to the development time, which might be better spent on other matters) carry on, or drop them ?

  3. pigsonthewing says:

    That’s a conundrum. There are two things to consider – your audience (how likely is it that you have, or may have at some point, people using assistive technology to view your site?), and how quickly will the microformats cabal agree to a workable and accessible fix?

    Unfortunately, on the latter point, the evidence is that the cabal don’t even properly acknowledge the problem (see discussion under Patrick’s post, as referenced in mine, above).

  4. simon gray says:

    the third factor to consider might also be how many people (or machines) might be actively – & exclusively – using the microformat data compared with how many people there are using – or likely to use – assistive technology to access the site ?

    certainly with a service / information site like http://www.birmingham-alive.com i would have thought accessibility should overrule implementations of contentious emerging technology; presumably the machines can read the iCal links just as effectively as the hCal markup ?

  5. Andy Mabbett says:

    On checking my archives for an unrelated discussion, I found today that I first raised issues with abbr-abuse on 24 April 2006, much earlier than I thought I had done so.

    The cabal was in denial, even then.

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