sitemap

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<entry-title>Sitemap</entry-title>

Authors

Ross McDonald

Problem

Enable the automatic generation of a number of different sitemap and related mechanisms from existing HTML navigation constructs by specifying a minimal amount of semantic information. There is currently no way to encode in a machine readable way which navigation link elements pointing to locations in a site should be considered for inclusion in a sitemap.xml, cache manifest or related artifact, additionally information is not currently available which would enable specification of priority weighting or frequency of change.

Examples of what could be generated if we had such information:

  • sitemap.xml
  • HTML sitemap for usability/accessibility
  • HTML5 cache manifest

Countless sites contain HTML navigation constructs which already detail all/most of the information required to build an HTML sitemap or cache manifest, and parts of the information required to build a sitemap.xml file.

Typically these constructs leverage link elements which conveniently expose an 'href' attribute. Add a way to specify 'priority' and maybe 'changefreq' and enough would be in place for machines to build a sitemap.xml.

Currently the alternative is to either write a site map manually, or supply information to a generator (the said data being disconnected from your site).

Useful metadata could be generated by machines or browser plugins with both leveraging a simple microformat.

Proposal

Per the microformats The microformats process: