[uf-discuss] Non-HTTP/HTML microformats

Ryan King ryan at technorati.com
Wed Nov 30 14:38:52 PST 2005

On Nov 30, 2005, at 2:19 PM, Luke Kanies wrote:
> Hi all,
> I am seeking to do something similar to microformats but for  
> completely
> unrelated uses.  I do open source sysadmin development, and I want  
> to create
> a bunch of microformats to model the chunks of data that different  
> sysadmin
> tools pass around.  For instance, I need to centrally manage log  
> messages,
> metric data, alerts, and quite a few other things.
> The key differences here between what I want to do and what  
> microformats is
> doing is that I am not using HTTP or HTML (mine will probably end  
> up being
> as transport-agnostic as possible, with Jabber being the first
> implementation) and this data is meant to be consumed by other  
> software, not
> by humans (in most cases, humans will never even know the data  
> exists).

Hmm, I don't think the two are as different as you'd think.

You see, one of the beauties of The Unix Way, is that, just like  
microformats, you can use the same output for both humans and  
machines. For example, `ls .` can be read by a human or piped into  
something else with `ls . | foo`. No need for two separate formats.  
(note to self: need to write blog post comparing µF's to The Unix Way.)

> Our mutual interests are divergent enough that I'm not convinced  
> there's
> enough common ground to make collaboration worth it, and I think  
> that I
> might have needs (like the ability to easily create custom formats)  
> that
> won't work well within the current Microformats goals.
> Does it make sense to try to work within the Microformats structure to
> create these formats?

1. Can you use the µF principles to guide your work? Sure, I  
certainly would.
2. Could your design principles be the same? Sure.
3. Are people involved around here likely to be interested? Sure.
4. Is this mailing list the right place to discuss these matters?  
Probably not, we've got to limit our scope at some point.

Ryan King
ryan at technorati.com

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