Although support for microformats in FF3 was talked about early 2007, no reference to them can be found in the recent beta’s user interface. As I think microformats could be an important part of the future semantic web, I mailed 2 Firefox microformats evangelists to ask what happend. Alex Faaborg, User Experience Designer at Mozilla, replied;
“The API for accessing microformatted content on a page will be included in Firefox 3, however a user interface for acting on microformatted content was unfortunately pushed back to the next release.
We are hoping that the API leads to several innovative Firefox extensions for microformats that we can use to help determine what the best user experience is for interacting with data on a page. You can learn more about the API here: http://developer.mozilla.org/en/docs/Using_microformats“
The reason for microformats not making it into the FF3 user interface apparently was a lack of agreement with regards to how they should be visualized. According to feedback received from Michael Kaply, author of the Operator microcards FF-extension, using a toolbar was too intrusive, they didn’t want to clutter the URL bar and they couldn’t come up with the right way to make the microcards-functionality extendable.
All in all a good thing microformats-functionality exists under the hood, but very unfortunate that Firefox3 will not allow ‘average users’ to see and interact with microformatted content. Maybe we should tell everyone to just install Operator for now?