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you might decide to write a program to build a timeline of the English
monarchy by crawling Wikipedia; being able to parse all the dates in a
straightforward way would make this much easier. Following are three
examples of these sorts of pages:
This WordPress blog is advertising an
upcoming event. You can see the key
components are all present here:
An event title
A time
A place
The BBC website has a page for each
program, and this contains information
about when the program will next be
broadcast. Although the title isn't shown
here, you can see the key components: a
time and a place (although in this case
the “place” is more abstract).
Finally, Wikipedia has events on many
pages—in this example, the “event” is
the death of Edward I. You may not con-
sider this the same sort of thing as the
previous two examples, but it shares the
same basic characteristics. This pattern
is so common that the microformats
movement established a standard way of
marking it up called hCalendar.
In the previous examples, it should have been fairly easy for you to
pick out the key bits of information even without the big dotted circles,
but computers need a more structured form of data. One approach to
this is microformats.
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