[microformats-discuss] Profiles status

brian suda brian.suda at gmail.com
Mon Oct 10 10:46:04 PDT 2005

I have moved this to the DEV list, so any further discussion should be
done there.

Danny Ayers wrote:

>Right, that's what I had in mind. I've got an RDF store with a sweet
>little SPARQL interface, how do I get microformat data into it? The
>GRDDL approach works but requires XSLT for each microformat (I think
>in principle any kind of parser/transformer would do, just this is the
>easy/obvious approach). I made a start on one for hReview a while ago,
>but didn't find much pleasure in the activity. There are patterns in
>the microformats (as David is doing a good job of documenting), but a
>generic XSLT is probably unfeasible. However it should be possible to
>at least semi-automate per format XSLT authoring, as long as the
>microformats have machine-readable profiles. But I'm now thinking it
>might be easiest just to work from instance docs, doing a
>parser-generator kind of thing from them.
--- OK, i don't quite follow the last bit, but here's what i do/did in
my implementation. I get an HTML page and parse out the profile
attribute values. Those are URLs to the XMDPs (they don't have to be
XMDPs, that was never specific by the spec[1], it is just that XMDPs are
currently the only way to describe these things in the wild). Those
XMDPs are fetched and run through an XSLT that actually generated XSLTs
(this has been subsequently cached, so once an XSLT has been built for a
XMDP, there is no need to use more bandwidth for the same thing). Then
the HTML page is tested against each XSLT (the one generated by the
orginal XMDP from the profile page). That simply gives a result of what
it finds on the page, no validation is done. This is because, you and i
know that DTSTART is a date-time, but the machine has no way to extract
that information from the english-prose in the XMDP.

So in the long run, each XMDP will need a man-made XSLT (or other
validator). I think under the current system, there is no way to make a
universal validator (which is fine by me).

There are things that could be added to the XMDP to make it more machine
friendly, additional information like TYPES (date-time, string, integer,
etc), but then we are re-inventing XML-Schema and we want to avoid that!

>Yep, sure.
>Incidentally, I've made a start at coming in from the other direction,
>trying to compile a list of model-format correspondences on the ESW
>(Anything you could add, I'd be grateful ;-)
--- i will certainly look into this.

For others who are trying to understand the value and importance of the
profile attribute and Metamemetics, here is some recommended reading on
the topic[1][2].


[1] - http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/struct/global.html#profiles
[2] - http://www.gmpg.org/xmdp/

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