Microsoft tries to give data some Oomph

Project aims to make it easier to work with and integrate microformats into applications.

Microsoft Oomph

Microformats are critical to inter-application communication; yet continue to create headaches for developers, so claims Microsoft.

The company today spoke about the latest work it is doing to help developers tackle microformats, which goes by the codename of Oomph.

"Microformats are about enhancing the web, representing data in useful ways and moving that data around between applications. Microformats can be very simple and very elegant," Karsten Januszewski, a technical evangelist at Microsoft, told IT PRO at the company's Professional Developer Conference in Los Angeles.

Januszewski is one of a team at Microsoft working on Oomph, a microformat toolkit to help developers consume microformat data, style the information and to actually create a microformat from scratch.

Oomph is an amalgamation of applications: an Internet Explorer add-in that finds microformats on a page; a cross-browser HTML overlay that aggregates microformats; a set of CSS styles; and a Windows Live Writer plug-in for inserting hCards. These are written in a variety of languages from C++ to JQuery.

"If you are a developer, you can add our Oomph experience to a web site so that the presence of microformats is made obvious to any browser, not just Internet Explorer," said Januszewski.

There are many developer challenges, Januszewski added, to overcome when dealing with microformats. Some that reside in languages such as Javascript, others that live in the actual format itself. The Oomph tools are designed to work with these issues, generating dynamic code to help overcome problems and bridge the gaps between what the formats can do, and what the developer needs to do.

Oomph was first shown to developers at Microsoft's Mix internet technologies conference earlier this year. The latest version of the Oomph tool can be found at visitmix.com/Lab/Oomph

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