I am excited about the future of the internet. It’s done amazing things in it’s short lifespan and the future is looking even brighter.
One of the bright spots in that future is the semantic web. At this point, the best thing I can do for you is share a video to explain it. Here’s my favorite:
So what is my contribution to this illustrious future? A WordPress theme, of course!
We’ve been using Microformats at the Harold B. Lee library for a couple of years. Recently, we even built a Ubiquity script to make use of that valuable markup. At Web Directions North, I met Manu Sporny, an advocate of RDFa, another flavor of semantic markup for the web. That meeting led to the opportunity to design and build a skin for the RDFa blog.
Since, RDFa and the semantic web is about the future, I built a lot of forward looking functionality into the design. I built a 9 column, fluid grid. I’ve been enamored with the work of that unstoppable robot ninja, Ethan Marcotte. He recently blogged and otherwise published on max-width fluid grids. I think these are brilliant. They provide the readability of fixed-width with the flexibility of fluid width. If you shrink the browser width, the design accommodates accordingly. Increasing or decreasing the font size further illustrates it’s flexibility.
There are other forward-looking details. I’ve included drop shadow on the RDFa text (visible in Safari). I’m using css columns in the footer (sorry IE users). I’m using @font-face with the lovely Museo Sans for titles and other details. I used these features, not to slight certain browser users. I generally try to accommodate as many browsers as possible (I do work for a library!). But for this site, I wanted to push the edges. I wanted to be thinking about the future – that’s where the value of the semantic web lies. We don’t get immediate returns on our investment in semantics; those returns come down the road as we continue to build for the future. The design of this site, in small ways, will improve as browsers adopt new standards.
Now, if I could only take the time to design a decent theme for my own site…