[uf-discuss] Re: Flock + Microformats

Chris Messina chris.messina at gmail.com
Thu Sep 14 18:37:57 PDT 2006

The format should fit the task and I don't disagree that you can't
have internal relational datastores as well.

At the same time, I had this fight with the Adium folks as well -- who
went off and invented their own XML-based schema for storing chat
transcripts when people using that app are actually watching a WebKit
window scroll HTML content. Why did they do that? According to them,
XML is easier to parse. Why is a "whatever" argument.

Because in the case of text-based data storage mechanisms, XHTML will
have reuse potential that you're not going to get with some one-off

If you want to use a real database backend, great. Go for it. But if
you're going to be storing simple data in a text format that will
inevitably be more valuable when viewed in a browser, I think
microformats become incredibly powerful and useful, especially when
you asynchronous access to data that ultimately needs to be displayed
and manipulated by humans.


On 9/14/06, Ian McKellar <ian at mckellar.org> wrote:
> On 9/14/06, Chris Messina <chris.messina at gmail.com> wrote:
> > It's a wonder that engineers ever built a craft to go to the moon.
> I've heard on good authority that was a hoax...
> >
> > Here's a usecase I've been throwing around recently:
> >
> > Take Ma.gnolia, which support hAtom and xFolk. Right there, you have a
> > datastore. Literally, in the HTML, that's rich, parseable data.
> No. You have an web page that's produced by running code against a
> datastore (probably sql). The whole point of a social bookmarking
> service is that you can make inferences based on the information. You
> can work out who is bookmarking the same pages as you, you can work
> out how tags correlate, etc. This requires you to store your
> information in some kind of data store. Now when you're publishing or
> sharing it makes sense to choose to present your information in some
> kind of standard way so you can have interoperability and Ma.gnolia
> have wisely and admirably decided to do this.
> (snip crack-rock "use cases")
> I believe in standards or conventions for communications between
> applications, but the idea that you should repurpose publishing
> formats as the internal representation of data for applications is
> foolish.
> Tantek, is microformatted content inside the Technorati search engine
> system internally represented as HTML?
> Ian (who is actually working on an interesting microformats + indexing
> + atom + opensearch side-project, which ironically will use
> microformats as its internal data format)
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Chris Messina
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