[uf-discuss] How to involve a new format design

Tantek Çelik tantek at cs.stanford.edu
Tue Mar 8 02:20:32 PST 2011

On Mon, Mar 7, 2011 at 22:25, Mingli Yuan <mingli.yuan at gmail.com> wrote:
> Hi, folks,

Hi Mingli,

> I have a requirement of a new format for knowledge exchange.
> But I am new to this area, and I want to get some advices.
> My specific requirement is for a format to exchange Wikipedia knowledge,
> but of cause this format could be used in a boarder situations.

In general in microformats we try to make the most use of existing
microformats first before attempting to create a new format.  In this
case, many of the examples you mention appear to be covered by
existing microformats:

> For each article from Wikipedia, I want fill below metadata in its talk page:
> * title (different title in different language variant)
> * permalink
> * links for different language variant
> * categories
> * lead sentence
> * abstract
> * main photo (img link, width, hight)

Take a look at hAtom which I believe covers almost all of this.


For different language variants, that's covered by plain HTML using
rel="alternate" and hreflang="..." the language of the variant.

> Some metadata can be retrieved via API calls from WIkipedia, but it
> need many API calls.
> Some metadata should be generated by human for good quality.
> I think I should separate common requirements from Wikipedia specific,
> and I can understand this.
> My questions are:
> * Is this requirement common enough to make a specification?
> * How dose people involve in a new specification?

"Common enough" is necessary but not sufficient.

For some details on what it takes to at least create a microformats
draft specification, see the process:


> * How about other choices: such as RDFa, or HTML5 Micordata?

No matter what syntax you use, you'll have to pick and use a vocabulary.

microformats focuses on creating/discovering vocabularies to describe
common web publishing behaviors.

Many developers/designers find the microformats syntax (of using class
attributes) easier and simpler to publish than other alternatives.

> Thanks for your help.
> Regards,
> Mingli

Regards Mingli,

Also I highly recommend that you join the IRC channel at:


And feel free to ask questions there too - as you'll likely receive a
much more precision answer as a results.



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