[microformats-discuss] microformat for weblog entries (+1)

Danny Ayers danny.ayers at gmail.com
Sat Aug 27 12:02:36 PDT 2005

Such a thing has been suggested before a few times (David?) but
there's another reason why it might be useful.

Most content management systems produce RSS/Atom feeds of the last X
entries. They also typically offer access to HTML representations of
archived entries. What they don't generally do is offer a feed
representation of archived entries. A weblog microformat could enable
this by providing a XHTML representation that can be mapped 1-1 with a
feed format.

Aggregators are continually improving in their ability to store,
index, search, catalog etc, but they're still usually tied to that
single source of data - a site's feed URI. Quite a few people are
talking about Atom stores. We already have RDF stores. By enabling
access to archives in a feed format, arbitrary entries could be loaded
into the aggregator/store.

Thing is, the blog/feed entry data structure is a kind of
lowest-common-denominator. A microformat for weblog entries would be
the vanilla flavour. hCalendar, hReview whatever could also be
incorporated and used by tools in the know. But (*cough*) everything
understands little chunks like entries.

So if an individual archived HTML post looks like this:
<head profile="http://example.org/hAtom">
<body class="entry">
<div class="title">My first post</div>
<div class="content">It just went dark</div>

following transformation it could look something like this:

      <title>My first post</title>
     <content>It just went dark</content>

Doesn't matter whether the transformation is done via XSLT, XQuery,
PHPDOM or whatever. What is significant is that it doesn't matter
where the transformation processing takes place - the blogging system,
an intermediary or at the client. The result of the transformation
could be the format of the client's choice - I'd go for RDF/XML, no
doubt a lot of people would prefer RSS 2.0 or Atom. Such feed data
could be obtained from any authoring system capable of offering
HTML+CSS representations.

Incidentally, where the transformation can be done on the originating
host, it might also be useful to offer something like:

<link rel="alternate" type="application/atom+xml"

in the archived HTML's <head>, or even using HTTP content negotiation
on the mime type.

One final scenario: 
say my aggregator is subscribed to a feed like:


the feed contains a URI, title, tags for each item. But what if the
item linked was a blog post. Wouldn't it be nice to see the *content*
of that in the aggregator too? So let the aggregator go check it's
HTML, check for the hAtom (or whatever) profile. Transform & display.




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