[microformats-discuss] Result set: thoughts and ideas?

Dr. Ernie Prabhakar drernie at opendarwin.org
Thu Oct 6 14:35:59 PDT 2005

Hi Dimitri,

Thanks for diving in on this!  This sounds related to the new table  
discussion I'm starting:


I think you may want to split up your idea into two parts:
- a table of results
- the list of result pages

That latter might also be used for a "1 of 3" notice, a la S5.   The  
former, interestingly, implies a connection between XOXO-lists and  
tables, as both have the meaningful concept of "20-40 of 100".

-- Ernie P.

On Oct 6, 2005, at 11:25 AM, Dimitri Glazkov wrote:

> Ok, this is not a microformat proposal. It could probably qualify as a
> use case, but it hasn't been in public use yet. I just wanted to bring
> this in front of the list for comments, suggestions, and name-calling.
> The project that I am currently working on calls for a wide variety of
> tabular/list data (result sets) being displayed. The content is fairly
> diverse (from tabular document collections to lists of calendar
> events), with the only commonality being such that the consumer of
> this data needs some way to query and manipulate data (view N results
> at a time, starting from Mth result, search, sort, filter, hide/show
> columns, add rows, delete rows, etc.)
> I decided to encapsulate this common need into some sort of a
> consistent markup representation, so that any set, regardless of
> content, could be queried and manipulated using the same set of
> controls. As a big believer in unobrtusive scripting, I thought that
> this consistent markup would allow the same script to bind to any
> result set to provide advanced UI/UX.
> The work is still very much in progress, but I wanted the smart folk
> to take a look at it and provide some insight as to whether I am a
> crazy nut of some sort.
> Consider this example: http://glazkov.com/Resources/Code/Grid/ 
> Grid.aspx
> Of particular interest is the form at the top of the table, which
> provides controls for two operations:
> * Ranging -- defining a range of results to return
> * Sorting -- sorting result set by a specified facet (table column in
> this example)
> There are other query operations possible, but let's not muddy the
> waters for now.
> This form can already be used to build fairly complicated queries
> (show 10 items starting from 34th, sorted by size), while keeping the
> controls completely context-agnostic. The only thing that needs to be
> known is the format in which these controls are represented.
> Take a look at the contents of ".xlist .range" element. They provide
> information on:
> * total number of items in the result set
> * current starting item in the set and what query string parameter to
> use to request another starting item
> * current number of items displayed and a way to request another
> number of items.
> So, for instance, if the data is the archive of all blog posts, you
> have a tool that allows you to query your blog data in pretty much any
> shape or fashion.
> The markup-only UI is very primitive, but I believe it is a
> semancially correct way to document a protocol using HTML, it
> expresses the intent of the protocol most directly, and it is fully
> functional without any additional means.
> Speaking of additional means, here's an example of a very simplistic
> "friendlier" UI bound to this markup (Javascript):
> http://glazkov.com/Resources/Code/Grid/DefaultPager.aspx
> As you can see, we now have "Google-like" paging -- obviously, the
> markup stays the same. With a little effort, this can be expanded to
> bind more sophisticated UI, along the lines of Rico's LiveGrid
> (http://openrico.org/rico/livegrid.page). In that particular case, the
> script on this page would call the page itself to retrieve data using
> XHR -- no extra API exposure needed.
> Next step: implementing data manipulation, or allowing to modify data.
> I guess the point of the exercise is: if a consistent format exists to
> express a protocol of querying/manipulating a result set, it becomes
> possible to bind to this protocol without needing to know the context
> of the data.
> Thoughts? Comments? I welcome any kind of feedback, even if it's
> merciless public spanking.
> :DG<
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Ernest N. Prabhakar, Ph.D. <drernie at opendarwin.org>
Ex-Physicist, Marketing Weenie, and Dilettante Hacker
Probe-Hacker blog: http://www.opendarwin.org/~drernie/

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