Why many Microformats begin with ‘h’

I’ve been spending some quality time with several Microformats as part of my work for DealerPeak. We’ve been adding semantic attributes, including hCard, hProduct, and hListing, to the pages generated by the DealerPeak Automotive Dealership CRM/CMS system.

During a recent redesign of the car listing page, I was adding hCard microformat information to the dealer contact information block. As I was reviewing the hCard specification, I came across the following text:

The root class name for an hCard is “vcard”. An element with a class name of “vcard” is itself called an hCard.[1]

This distinction struct me as a bit odd, but I didn’t think too much of it because I had a deadline.

Over the past few days I’ve been working with one of the other developers again on some Microformat ideas, this time implementing some of the hProduct and hListing elements into a similar page. Sudden inspiration struck me – the ‘h’ is an ASCII-safe lower-case Mu (μ) – the SI prefix for “micro”!

[1] http://microformats.org/wiki/hcard#Root_Class_Name

3 thoughts on “Why many Microformats begin with ‘h’

  1. Thanks for the clarification… I see the "micro" interpretation is sort of an accidental one. Still a funny coincidence!

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