Skip to main content

Hands-on Microformats: Quickly build an hCalendar-based view with XSLT and Seaside

I gave a talk with the title, "Hands-on Microformats: Quickly build an hCalendar-based view" at the 2009 BarCamp Omaha. Since the presentation was really looking at code, I didn't have a slide deck. So I thought I would share my notes in a series of posts. This is the first.

Short version: By adding a few specific attributes and abiding by some date formatting rules, you can generate a great-looking monthly calendar with surprisingly little effort. That is, get something like this:

From HTML that looks like this:

A microformat lets you use standard XHTML but add in some semantic goodness without resorting to a separate XML namespace and corresponding set of tags (or formally, an XML application).

For our example, hCalendar uses a 1:1 representation of standard iCalendar (RFC2445) VEVENT properties and values in semantic XHTML.

hCalendar wouldn't have caught my attention if it weren't for js-hCalendar. This bit of JavaScript created by David Glasser and hosted at Google code will take some hCalendar-laced HTML and give you back a Monthly calendar view of the data.

Now, if you are working in the heart of the application and you already have (or can acquire) a calendar component that does what you want, then this code may be less useful. But, I've found it very handy when I'm working around the edges of an application or I'm using a language with a smaller set of available components. The key is, no matter what platform on which I'm running, I can probably generate the required HTML to get this working in an hour or two.

Up next: some examples from XSLT and Seaside (Smalltalk).


Popular posts from this blog

Refactoring – Ruby Ed.

The original Refactoring book by Martin Fowler had a big impact on how I thought about writing software. I’d used the refactoring tools in Smalltalk, but the book changed the way I thought about refactoring and gave names to many new refactorings. This Ruby edition of the book is highly anticipated. I received my copy at a drawing in our local Ruby user’s group. Part of the deal was you had to write a review (you are reading it) in exchange for the book. Nearly everyone at the meeting wanted a crack at the book. The authors suggest that if you have the original work, you probably shouldn’t purchase this new edition. I don’t agree. There is plenty of new content with around 20 new refactorings and a few new code smells to make the difference worthwhile. There is a tremendous amount of thoughtful Ruby code snippets inserted throughout the text. In fact, this is one of those books that is great for everyone on a team to have a copy. It is the kind of book that can be used to raise t