[uf-discuss] Microformats for Write APIs

Duncan Cragg uf-discuss at cilux.org
Tue Feb 19 00:51:33 PST 2008

Gareth Rushgrove wrote:
> The idea of using Microformats as a replacement for a separate API
> layer has been mooted for a while*. But in general this has been a
> discussion about Read APIs (ie. asking for data) as apposed to Write
> APIs (ie. adding data).
> * http://allinthehead.com/retro/301/can-your-website-be-your-api
I found a post that predates this, and also talks about write APIs:



(I've no doubt that someone can beat that, with an article from 1773 or 

There's also some controversial, Microformat-related content in my 
latest post, for those who like a nice heated discussion:


> I'm interested in the idea of using microformats to auto-discover
> Write API functions.
My approach - in the first article, in the REST Dialogues and in the 
Micro Web (http://the-u-web.org) - is that a standardised content type 
determines what it takes back as a POST. This is either explicit - 
'here's a form you can use to talk to me!' - or implicit - 'I'm an Atom 
feed - go try APPing me!'  (I'd suggest hAtom sticks to just POST, not 
the full APP PUT/DELETE, mind. Define hAPP, maybe? )

In the Micro Web, the idea is to recognise a comprehensive range of 
standardised JSON types and offer the user GUI functions to write back. 
Or, rather, to 'suggest back' - the server will often ignore the 
suggestion, e.g. if the user is not authorised.  A JSON Atom feed would 
automatically offer the blog owner the new blog post form, and offer the 
general public the comment form, all generated in Javascript, not by the 
server, triggered by recognising the JSON type. If the script doesn't 
recognise the content type at all, it may still offer the user to 
directly edit the JSON fields and submit that back.

I'm putting this out for general interest amongst fellow semantic 
webbers (smallcase), not to ruffle feathers. I'm sure this is the wrong 
list or off-topic or something - please don't tell me off.  =0) 


Duncan Cragg

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