[uf-discuss] Document Revision History uf

Cayle Graumann cayle.graumann at gmail.com
Fri Oct 27 10:00:48 PDT 2006


    I was wondering if anyone has a working drafts or specs for a
microformat for presenting document revision history.  I don't want to
reinvent any wheels -square, round or otherwise funny shaped - if I
can help it. :)

The reason I ask is that I've been looking at the Microsoft Simple
Sharing Extensions to RSS which enable an easy way to add
synchonization information to a RSS feed, and was investigating
whether something similar could work for hCal, hCard, and hAtom.
This could allow a calendar or addressbook client to easily know when
it's data needs to be refreshed from a microformatted web page.

 For those of you who might not want to google for it, I'll summarize
what SSE adds to RSS.

1)  There are three extensions to the Channel information allowing a
feed to be a time-based subsection of a larger feed.   The first adds
a tag for adding information about the time period a feed covers, the
second adds a url pointing to a feed containing all the information
rather than just the information in the subsection.   The third
extension indicates approximately how frequently a feed is updated.

2)  There is also an extension to the Entry information which allows
for versioning of the entry based on a unique id, as well as
presenting a minimal revision history having only when an entry was
modified and by whom.  My personal opinion of the SSE spec is that the
revision history could be enhanced to be more generally useful (at
least add the potential to add a URI to retrieve an earlier version)
and it should definitely support hCard for the modifier information.

My understanding is that the vCard, iCal specifications do not include
this information and  Atom has the concept of "updated" but does not
retain any revision trail.  Without this information, the burden of
determining when something is updated and should be reimported is
shifted to the consumer of the information (which can be a rather
difficult process), rather than the producer of the information (who
should easily know when something is modified).  The SSE spec has been
produced under a Creative Commons License, unlike the majority of MS
specs,  so I don't see any licensing problems with incorporating some
of it's concepts as a microformat.

I have a rudimentary microformat based on SSE in the preliminary
design stages - basically some thoughts I had while reading through
things last night, which I'll post for your consideration and thoughts
when I've had a few days more to think about it.


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