BBC is doing away with microformats. Michael Smethurst explains the reasons, and at the root of all of them is the inaccessibility because of the
abbr design pattern. BBC is going to try out RDFa as an alternative.
Microformats are a set of simple, open data formats which both humans and machines can read. Microformats were recognized and adopted by certain popular tools and that has made them more popular than the competition. However, this news is going to cause a bit of ripples in the community.
I too was warned of this when I had microformatted this blog. Apparently it is a commonly discussed issue. BBC had, in fact, asked for help regarding this. So they did give it a fair bit of chance. Unfortunately, as John Resig says, RDFa has not made many headways (still a candidate recommendation), and the jargon seems to be killing its popularity.
I think it is time for the microformats community to take this up and solve this issue once and for all. There have been too many complaints about this, and affecting accessibility should be considered as a show-stopper. I hope this news will trigger a solution to this problem.