[microformats-discuss] Profiles, what are they good for, why do we need them, and how should they be implemented

Bud Gibson bud at thecommunityengine.com
Sat Jul 16 12:03:12 PDT 2005

I'll generically throw in just the following:

1.  The XMDP really works for human reading and some very limited  
machine discovery of microformatted content as demonstrated by Brian  

2. There is no reason that you could not link in the XMDP to some  
sort of machine validation scheme if you so chose.

3.  If you want to use things like schema to validate xhtml documents  
with something extra, you need to look at this document:


As you will see looking at that page, adding components described by  
a schema to xhtml leads to a "hybrid" document that must be validated  
against a hybrid schema, not just the plain old xhtml schema.  Hybrid  
documents introduce the notion of namespaces to avoid naming  
conflicts which in turn makes writing the document a lot harder.

A key component of the microformat philosophy is to avoid making  
authors validate against hybrid document types with namespaces.  The  
idea is to use just xhtml and have the document validate against the  
standard xhtml schema with no namespaces, thereby retaining a  
business-as-usual workflow for authors.

4.  Most people on this list are not looking to actually validate  
microformats, rather they seem to want the following:

a.  To know when a microformat is being used, or not.

b.  To know that, if a microformat is being used, that it has all the  
right components.

My cut is that both of these issues might be very easy to resolve.   
Resolving point "a" may be as simple as introducing URLs (URIs that  
point at real resources) to indicate the containing element of a  
microformat.  This usage will likely be more heuristic than specified  
in current W3C documents.

Resolving point "b" may simply involve writing better specs and  
providing test cases, something that is not always done.


On Jul 16, 2005, at 9:21, Robert Bachmann wrote:

> brian suda wrote:
>> Other things that XMDP cannot do that XML schema can do is custom  
>> data
>> types, or even simple data types.  Right now in hCa* all dates  
>> should be
>> a UTC date format. This is explained only in the english prose  
>> reference
>> to the actual RFC. XMDP provides no way to enforce a YYYY-MM-DD style
>> string or a $___.00 money string, or int, float, string, double, etc.
>> All of which, other schema languages can. This doesn't make XMDP  
>> bad and
>> worthless, they are just out of the scope.
> I suddenly got an idea but unfortunately I don't know much about XML
> schema and XMDP, so this idea is perhaps a a bad one.
> I'll present it anyway so others with more knowledge about XMDP and  
> Schema can judge it:
> Would it be possible to link a XMDP with a XML schema?
> Here is an example for illustration of my idea:
> For example if I would want to use hCalender on a page, I would
> use the URL http://example.org/Microformats/hCalender.xhtml (or  
> whatever).
> http://example.org/Microformats/hCalender.xhtml contains the profile
> and some kind of link to an XML schema:
> <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Strict//EN"
>  "http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-strict.dtd">
> <html xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml" xml:lang="en" lang="en">
> <head>
> <title>XMDP profile for hCalender</title>
> </head>
> <body>
>  <dl class="profile">
>     <!-- .... -->
>  </dl>
>  <a rel="XMLschema"
>     href="http://example.org/Microformats/hCalender.xsd">XML
>     Schema</a>
> </body>
> </html>
> A (generic) validator which is used to validate my page could then  
> read
> the link(s) to the XMDP(s), fetch them and afterwards could also fetch
> the XML Schema(s) and validate the specific parts of my page against
> the various XML Schemas.
> Is that possible and does that actually make sense?
> Robert
> -- 
> Robert Bachmann <rbach at rbach.priv.at> (OpenPGP KeyID: 0x4A5CCF10)
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