Category Archives: Web design

Is it worthwhile to embed structured data in Web content?

Short answer: not really!

A few years ago, I was fascinated with the idea of microformats. The concept is to add structural data to common HTML tags so that certain types of data on a web page can be clearly identified. Adding structural information makes it easier to automate the parsing and indexing of web content. The original microformats included common data sets that contain well-defined data, such as contact information or a calendar event. In the intervening years, microformats were replaced by microformats2, with additional draft standards for more items such as recipes, resumes, etc.

I decided to use my resume as a “use case” for structured HTML data. My original plan was to use the h-resume draft specification from microformats2. I modified my plan when I realized that major search engines (Bing, Google, Yahoo! and Yandex) have decided to parse another semantic technology, microdata (microdata W3C spec). There is no point in creating semantic web pages if nobody is going to parse them, so I used the microdata specifications that are available at schema.org and placed them into an h-resume framework.  I used the event class to represent each position I held or educational achievement, because the event class is the only one with start and end dates. Continue reading

Blog infrastructure updated

I’m almost finished with a round of updates to the infrastructure of this site. I upgraded WordPress and changed my hosting from a friend’s virtual server to Linux hosting with GoDaddy.com.  The price is right and so far the service has been great.  I’ve used GoDaddy for domain name registration for many years.
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Comments are now protected with reCaptcha to try to reduce the amount of link spam that I have to sort through.  If you have a problem posting a comment, or notice any other aspect of the site that is “broken,” please contact me at the email address shown on the About page.

I still have a bit of work to do on updating my theme to take advantage of the features of WordPress 3.

How to put formatted, highlighted code in a WordPress post

I found two complementary plugins that enable me to put highlighted formatted code in a WordPress page or post. Here’s an example of what they do:

[sourcecode language="python"]
# Plot flux at continuum boundary
pylab.figure()
pylab.hold(True)

pylab.plot(nd_times, Jl_BD, 'b-', label="Flux from BD simulation")
pylab.plot(nd_times, Jl_BD+Jl_BD_std, 'b.', label="Flux from BD simulation")
pylab.plot(nd_times, Jl_BD-Jl_BD_std, 'b.', label="Flux from BD simulation")
[/sourcecode]

Test successful! Note that Javascript must be enabled to see the highlighting. Get the plugins here: