[uf-discuss] Product Data Microformat

Mike Dierken dierken at gmail.com
Sat Mar 4 21:10:25 PST 2006

If the goal is to automate distributing production information, then
XML is sufficient. I thought a 'microformat' was meant to be an
overlay on narrative text - like a highlighter with a color dedicated
to 'product info'. I could be wrong - who knows the purpose of
microformats as compared to simply using XML?
There are several book related formats - UIEE for example (but that
isn't XML) [1] - and there is UBL for 'business documents' [2] but I
don't know if they have a 'product' format.

[1] http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/browse/-/1161336/103-3996345-0333429
[2] http://www.oasis-open.org/committees/tc_home.php?wg_abbrev=ubl

> About the need for a UPI: While it's true that it's important to identify a
> product uniquely, once you've specified the part number and/or the
> description as well as the manufacturer's name you've uniquely ID'd the
> part, since it's rare that a manufacturer duplicates its own part names or
> numbers.
Well, not everything has a manufacturer, the manufacturer's name isn't
necessarily unique, manufacturers do actually re-use and have
duplicate part numbers. And the same product can have a UPC, EAN,
manufacturer and part number - anyone could use any of these to
reference the product. Then you get into issues of similarity, like
after-market manufacturers of 'compatible' or 'equivalent' products -
wouldn't it be nice to know those relationships?

Anyway, something that mostly works is infinitely better than not
having a system at all.

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