[uf-discuss] Profile aliasing

Danny Ayers danny.ayers at gmail.com
Tue Oct 25 13:12:40 PDT 2005

A suggestion, not sure if it has legs, apologies if it has come up before.

Ok, assume that all the current likely microformats just became stable
specs (including hAtom!). It would be good for some of the standard
publishing tools to adopt all the appropriate microformats for the
content they produce.

* Problem: they are relatively mature systems, with their own
development processes - their content/structure/semantic people might
not talk to their presentation people. A complete refurbishment of
their HTML/CSS may be out of the question.

* Proposed solution: the publisher provides a Profile Alias Document,
which includes a simple dictionary mapping their own CSS class (etc)
naming scheme to standard microformat(s). That document would be in a
format something very close to XMDP.The publisher then uses the URI of
the alias document as the profile attribute in their doc <head>s, a
considerably less sweeping change than a total overhaul - their
current styling would still work.

Given the profile URI and hence the alias mapping document, a
microformat consumer could do a translation on the fly, and extract
data aligned with standard microformats. Simple dictionary lookup -
Mark Pilgrim's neighbour's ferret can do that.

So for example, WordPress contains:

<div class="post">
   <!-- entry stuff -->

There is (assume) a one-to-one correspondence between this and the
atomentry class. That would normally look like:

<div class="atomentry">
   <!-- entry stuff -->

The Profile Alias Document contains something like:

<dl class="alias">
  <dt id="post">post</dt>

I would emphasise that I believe this would only make sense where a
direct mapping between terms was possible, such that it could be
encoded in a regular definition list. Nothing fancy.

There may be little bonuses to this, e.g. if we did have Zen Garden
for microformats then a bit of XSLT could automatically translate the
microformat-standard Zen stylesheets into a form with the aliased
naming scheme.




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