Jump to: navigation, search


Page Summary Formats

This page describes existing formats that enable an author to publish a summary description for a page. Whether or not this is worthy of doing research (e.g. page-summary-examples, page-summary-brainstorming) for a microformat is open to debate. Nonetheless, it doesn't hurt to at least have a place to document existing formats.

Meta description

HTML4.01 provides meta description as an example in Appendix B: Performance, Implementation, and Design Notes of the HTML 4.01 spec. E.g.

<META name="description" content="Idyllic European vacations">

Product Support

Google search results display the value of the meta description element for a page when that page is listed in Google search results.




Mozilla introduced a proprietary format called "microsummary", which was used in Firefox 2.0-5.0's support for bookmarks.

Firefox 6.0 has removed support for microsummary.


  1. that microsummaries were not intended simply to deliver a summary of a page; they may be used, for example, for a "deal of the day", "last updated" date or time, a new headline, or other timely and dynamic information.
  2. a "microformat" consisting of a class="microsummary" attribute would allow a piece of content (a span including a "last updated date", for example), to be extracted from a page, by software.
  3. if multiple tags included class="microsummary", we'd need to decide whether they each represent different microsummaries or they all represent a single microsummary whose value is the concatenation of each tag's content. The former seems saner, but sometimes microsummary content is scattered around the page (f.e. an eBay auction item microsummary might contain the name of the item, the auction end date, and the current high bid, but that information appears in three separate places in the page).



Examples of discussion

Firefox extension



page-summary-formats was last modified: Thursday, August 4th, 2011