Source Brainstorming

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Per the microformats process, this page is for brainstorming about ideas, proposals, constraints, requirements for a microformat for indicating the link relationship between a document (or site) and its source code.



<a href="" rel="source">the source for this book</a>
<link href="" rel="source" />

Use Cases

When an author links to a project's (or document's) source code (e.g. on GitHub, Google Code, etc.) a rel value of "source" could be used to explicitly define that relationship.



source could be better used to define a source where the information came from. When someone writes an article, which is based on informations somewhere else, rel="source" would be a more appropriate name.

Better naming recommendations for the case of this rel-Attribute:

  1. code
  2. sourcecode

Use when linking to project source code

Could this really be used to link to a project’s (rather than the current document’s) source code?

Using the Unison.js example, with all HTML attributes removed except rel and href:

<a rel="source" href="">View on GitHub</a>

Following the rel-faq, this would be interpreted as:

The resource indicated by is a "source" for the current document.

But it isn’t. The Unison.js project page on does not seem to use Unison.js in any way.

Relations between one URI and a linked URI

To think about the relations in between the current resource (URI) and the linked one, a way is to imagine what would be the "title" attribute that would help users take an action on the link. Basically, we are telling something along the line: "Explore the hosted source code of this project we are talking about on this page." The relation between this current resource I'm reading and the resource I'm linking to is more of a "owl:seeAlso" aka additional information, but it's not really a relation which is related to the source code. In the past, it would have been simply "download the gzipped tarball". Maybe there is no real usage for a meaningful "rel" value.


These examples demonstrate situations where an explicit rel value could be used to mark up an existing document (or project's) link to its source.

Source Brainstorming was last modified: Friday, March 21st, 2014