[microformats-discuss] Microformats for WSDL and WSIL

Tom Warne twarne at gmail.com
Tue Oct 18 06:30:19 PDT 2005

Hi all,

I missed the introduction thread a few weeks ago, so quickly, my name
is Tom Warne and I am a master's student (CS) at Brigham Young
University.  I became interested in microformats after my advisor
(Phil Windley) introduced me to them.

For my master's thesis, I am investigating the use of microformats to
present WSDL [1], WSIL [2], and contact (hCard) information in an easy
way for both humans and machines to consume.  My thesis statement is:

"Most organizations, rather than using heavyweight UDDI, simply create
lists of the Web services that are available.  Often these lists are
created in human readable form and are distributed around the
organization's Web.  Microformatted WSIL and WSDL, together with
hCards, allow organizations to create human readable lists of Web
services in a way that also allows machines to find and bind to
services.  These Web pages constitute a simple and novel method for
machines (and humans) to find and use Web services."

My hope is that as a result of this thesis, a web services provider
could put documentation on their website and have the WSIL (linking to
other microformatted documents) and WSDL (defining the structure and
location of the service) integrated into the same document.  Google or
Yahoo! could index these pages, allowing developers to search for
available web services (based on the human-readable documentation).
These developers would be able to find the WSDL for the described
service in a very standard way (a conversion of the same page).  If
Google or Yahoo! became "microformats-aware" then they could even have
a link off of the search results page to the conversion of the
microformatted WSDL.

After reading about some of the REST-API microformat information, my
proposal seems similar, except that I am focusing more on the standard
WSDL/WSIL.  The microformats could (and possibly should) be similar.

As I proceed, what suggestions does the community have?  Has anyone
considered microformats for WSDL or WSIL?

[1] http://www.w3.org/TR/wsdl
[2] http://www-128.ibm.com/developerworks/library/specification/ws-wsilspec/

Tom Warne

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