[microformats-discuss] Microformats, REST, and XML

Kevin Marks kmarks at technorati.com
Mon Sep 19 16:37:18 PDT 2005

On Sep 19, 2005, at 12:26 PM, Dr. Ernie Prabhakar wrote:
> Fascinating.   This is one of the things I've wondered about. In a  
> world where everybody "grokked" microformats, would there ever be a  
> need for new (public) XML documents? Or could we do everything with  
> microformatted XHTML -- and, perhaps, Atom.  Certainly, I would think  
> things like DocBook would make far more sense as a XHTML application  
> rather than their own XML schema.

It's a nice idea, certainly. There is a dream of a word processor whose  
native format is XHTML+ CSS:


> This is more than a theoretical question.   As you know, Mac OS X uses  
> property lists (the moral equivalent of XOXO, at least to first order)  
> for many types of data transport.  There's often discussion about  
> when/where an app should simply use a plist dictionary for data  
> storage vs. defining a custom XML document type.
> What would this list recommend as the best practice (assuming plist =  
> XOXO for purpose of discussion)?

I find using XOXO handy, but that is because I have read/write  
transform scripts for it in Python and PHP, which I will publish soon.  
Once you have these, you can round trip data structures from XOXO to  
native format and back pretty easily.

plists do basically the same thing, by defining generic key/value pairs  
so you don't have to rev the DTD for each new property.

One thing is that some properties and names you don't want exposed to  
your users; the multiple inheritance trick you can do with classnames  
that hCard etc exploit is not really possible with XOXO, but XOXO gives  
you a good generic mapping in the absence of a specialised microformat. 

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