[microformats-discuss] directory formats

Danny Ayers danny.ayers at gmail.com
Thu Aug 25 02:43:14 PDT 2005

On 8/21/05, Ryan King <ryan at technorati.com> wrote:

> The ideas is to allow a way to make an assertion (albeit weak) that a
> page is or should be listed in a certain directory.

Something that might be worth looking at is SKOS, the Simple Knowledge
Organisation System [1]. It's a way of expressing such things in RDF
(you knew I was going to say that ;-) The initial thrust for it was
for data integration across thesauri, but there's big crossover with
directories (see list at [2]).

But even if you're not interested in the RDF side, a lot of the
problems associated with the directory listing kind of task have been
broached, could be some useful ideas in the docs.

Your word "weak" is reflected in the way that rather than the usual
RDF subclassing kind of structures, taxonomy relations are expressed
as "narrower"/"broader".It means the directory relationships aren't
quite so directly tied to RDF semantics.

A bit of real-world potential is demonstrated by the FOAF Output
plugin for WordPress [3]. This auto-generates a SKOS scheme based on
the blog user's categorization, and inserts corresponding bits of
RDF/XML in the RSS feed for category tagging. This is very similar to
the kind of coolness potential I reckon microformats have got, the
user doesn't have to do anything special (they're just tagging as
usual) but the system is transparently producing high-quality,
globally unambiguous data.

Incidentally, I'm not sure (not got there yet) but SKOS may offer a
good way of formally expressing the parent/child relationships of XOXO
data corresponding to the XHTML list nesting. (The GRDDL/XSLT trick
being used again to map from microformat to RDF).


[1] http://www.w3.org/2004/02/skos/
[2] http://esw.w3.org/topic/SkosDev/ThesaurusLinks/ThesDownload
[3] http://www.wasab.dk/morten/blog/archives/2004/07/05/wordpress-plugin-foaf-output


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