OpenService Extensions

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To increase the value of web content annotated with microformats (or other semantic web technologies) it is required to define a language that can be used by web applications' developers to describe and publish the services available for different semantic contents (e.g. for a hCard).

There could be other alternatives, but one of them is to extend Microsoft Open Service Description and reusing also some Open Search concepts.

Contents

Generic OpenService Extensions

mime-type

OpenService description documents are referred to via the following type:

application/openservicedescription+xml

This type is pending IANA registration.

Automatic Discovery

HTML and XHTML documents may reference related OpenService description documents via the HTML 4.0 <link/> element.

The following restrictions apply:

The HTML <head/> element should include a "profile" attribute that contains the value "http://www.microsoft.com/schemas/openservicedescription/1.0". Example of an HTML document that includes OpenSearch autodiscovery link elements:

 <!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.01//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/html4/strict.dtd">
 <html xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml" xml:lang="en" lang="en" dir="ltr">
   <head profile="http://www.microsoft.com/schemas/openservicedescription/1.0">
     <!--- ... --->
     <link rel="service"
           type="application/openservicedescription+xml" 
           href="http://example.com/service1.xml"
           title="Service 1" />
     <link rel="service"
           type="application/opensearchdescription+xml" 
           href="http://example.com/service2.xml"
           title="Service 2" />
     <!--- ... --->
   </head>
   <body>
     <!--- ... --->
   </body>
 </html>

The "rel" attribute of the link element should contain the value "service" when referring to OpenService description documents. This relationship value is pending IANA registration.

Restricted services

Tag services that should be used only in a concrete domain/url scope.

It's not intended to be a security mechanism, but a method to describe services that are only useful for a web site, in order to avoid showing useless services when the user is in other web sites, to improve the user experience.

      <activityAction context="document" domain="wikipedia.org">
         <execute method="get" action="http://wikipedia.org/showhistory?url={documentUrl}">
         </execute>
      </activityAction>

Open issues:

OpenService extension for microformats contexts (a.k.a. Semantic Activities)

This specification extends the original OpenService specification.

OpenService description includes the concept of context which is used to describe the content this service can be applied to. The possible contexts included in the original OpenService specification are selection, document and link. This specification extends the possible contexts to include microformats. The value used for these new contexts must be the standard microformat name as defined in microformats.org (e.g. hCard, hCalendar, tag). To indicate a required parent for the microformat, a dotted notation can be used (e.g. hCard.adr indicates an addr content that must be child of a hCard content)

Other required extension is new variables that can be used to compose the url parameters that will be sent to the service. These new variables include the microformats' properties:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<openServiceDescription xmlns="http://www.microsoft.com/schemas/openservicedescription/1.0">
   <display>
      <name>Find videos on YouTube</name>
      <icon>http://www.youtube.com/favicon.ico</icon>
   </display>
   <homepageUrl>http://youtube.com</homepageUrl>
   <activity category="Videos">
      <activityAction context="adr">
         <execute method="get" action="http://youtube.com/results?search_query={adr.street-address}">
         </execute>
      </activityAction>
   </activity>
</openServiceDescription>

All variables are treated as required unless it the modifier "?". An optional variable that cannot be resolved is treated as an empty string for an inline parameterized URL. In a form-based parameterized URL the entire parameter element is ignored.

Example of an optional variable in an inline parameterized URL:

   <execute method="get" action="http://youtube.com/results?search_query={adr.street-address}">

Pending issues:

OpenService extension to describe Operator User Scripts

......

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<openServiceDescription xmlns="http://www.microsoft.com/schemas/openservicedescription/1.0">
   <display>
      <name>Find videos on YouTube</name>
      <icon>http://www.youtube.com/favicon.ico</icon>
   </display>
   <homepageUrl>http://youtube.com</homepageUrl>
   <activity category="Tags">
      <activityAction context="tag">
         <execute method="script">
            <script>
               <![CDATA[
                  if (semanticObject.tag) {
                     return("http://youtube.com/results?search_query=" + encodeURIComponent(semanticObject.tag));
                  }
               ]]>
            </script>
         </execute>
      </activityAction>
   </activity>
</openServiceDescription>
OpenService Extensions was last modified: Saturday, May 17th, 2008

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