[uf-discuss] [chat] Microformats are not for data storage
timber at lava.net
Sun Oct 29 21:58:16 PST 2006
Particularly, I'm going to be talking about "hChat".
Personally, I see the primary use case of a chat microformat to be for
displaying of chat contents in a live (or semi-live) way. There are
quite a few examples of this in the wild -- web-based IM clients like
Meebo, and Adium and Kopete's message view, both of which are HTML
Contrarily, most data formats are not HTML based (XML based, usually),
or if they are, do not use modern HTML (i.e. AOL's HTML log format).
I think the chat group should alter its focus to providing ways to
semantically talk about the structure of a chat and a particular
message entry. One of the most obvious benefits in this area is much
better clipboard support -- copying things out of Meebo and Adium/
Kopete's HTML view usually results in an un-useful mess.
Another important use case, that I think there has been some research
towards already, is "snippets". That is, small snippets of an IM
conversation in a blog post. This, conveniently, goes along with my
earlier point about copy-paste.
Just a couple of other points that have been percolating:
- the use of hCard to mark up people's names
- Time zone information is important -- particularly wrt. time time
zone of the sender and the time zone of the receiver.
This email has been a long time coming -- I've waited for a couple of
months, just lurking and trying to understand the process. Should
people agree that this is the direction research should go, I'll start
working on getting links on the wiki to examples of documentations of
chat representations. I think that the idea of chat *logging* is a
well-solved problem by XML and microformats shouldn't be butting their
heads in -- especially since most of the time full logs aren't
available on the web (the uF log bot being a notable, and interesting,
In the interest of full disclosure: I'm one of the developers of Adium
-- we're looking into improving our message view, and copy/paste has
been something that's plagued us for a while. I'm also one of the
primary authors of an XML based log format that's been adopted by
Adium, Gaim and Kopete.
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