[uf-discuss] Microformat for dictionary/thesaurus ... + research

Chris Messina chris.messina at gmail.com
Wed Nov 30 12:20:42 PST 2005

I decided to hack Dictionary.app and see how it worked. It uses a
stylesheet called DefaultStyle.css with all kinds of markup I've never
before seen the likes of. For example:

o|ent {
	display: block;
	margin: 0em 0em 0em 0em;
	margin-left: -13px;
	margin-bottom: 1.0em;

It uses this 'o' object a lot and then I checked up on the namespaces
referenced in the top of the document:

@namespace html url(http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml);
@namespace o url(http://oup.dataformat.com/doc/OUP_DTD_Dictionary.html);

Apparently you can namespace objects dynamically! ...I had no idea!

Anyway, checking out that page resulted in a format that seemed ripe
for some dl|dt|dd microformat love:

<entry type="subject" sortkey="sortkeyhere" status="Active"
                       title="noad:1.01" entry="0" stage="1">
    <meta> ...  </meta>
    <hwGrp> ... <hwGrp>
	   <meta> ...  </meta>
	   <prelim> ... </prelim>
	       <meta> ...  </meta>

Since much of the work has already been done and there's a decent use
case for this kind of app, I was wondering if we might be able to take
the data that's already available and see what a mF could do for it --
y'know, to be able to offer real world app conversion documentation?

Not only that, but it would be pretty cool to have a mini-web app
dictionary that you could pull up in Firefox/Flock whose data is
stored as a simple XHTML file somewhere on the web (hmm, yes, I'm
hoping to use this in our blog tool!).


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