[uf-discuss] Bookmark Interchange Format (mailing list)

Bud Gibson bud at thecommunityengine.com
Thu Mar 30 13:32:30 PST 2006

I very much agree that xFolk needs additional elements to support  
some of the social bookmarking applications.

There is no need to reinvent the wheel in doing this as you point  
out.  For instance, hcard or xfn might be used for identity.  I'm not  
so sure about the folders idea.  My guess is that some of this may  
boil down into how one represents underlying semantics.  For  
instance, tags could be represented as folders or as a tag cloud.   
Also, need you represent it all or just the most common elements?

I've been lying low on xFolk for the past many months.  My mother  
passed away in the fall after a long illness that was really bad at  
the end, and I had a lot of extra duties.  I'm back now and very much  
interested in getting some more work going on this if there is  
outside interest.

On Mar 30, 2006, at 15:34, Danny Ayers wrote:

> Fabio Vescarelli (developer of smarking.com) has just set up a mailing
> list for discussion/development of a format for data interchange
> between "Social Bookmarking" services - the iconic example being
> del.icio.us
> Introductory blog post:
> http://blog.smarking.com/2006/03/bookmarks_inter.html
> List admin:
> http://mailman-mail1.python-hosting.com/listinfo/bif
> I might as well give my 2 cents -
> It seems to me there are three interelated aspects to the technical
> requirements. As it happens there is an existing initiative that may
> be able to inform each, so I've bcc'd their respective mailing lists
> (below). I'll skip comment on the process for this initiative
> (potential rathole), but there are at least 3 to choose from ;-)
> So...
> 1. data model - what is the information to be exchanged?
> 2. concrete representation - what format?
> 2. interchange protocol - how is the data passed from A to B?
> IMHO...
> For 1:
> A bookmark identifies a Web resource. In the Social Bookmarking it is
> described by through individual user comments and folksonomic tags.
> Seems like a Resource Description Framework might be useful. There are
> well-established RDF vocabularies for basic annotations (notably
> Dublin Core) and describing people such as those doing the bookmarking
> (FOAF). There's also a vocabulary for capturing tagging info [1]. RDF
> is eminently suitable for a data model.
> For 2:
> The most deployed format for bookmark-like data is HTML. It's been
> demonstrated how this can be used for carrying explicit data through
> microformats (uFs). The xFolk microformat [2] is very much in the
> bookmarking space, though XFN and XOXO could help with person and
> structural aspects. XHTML (with microformat profiles) is eminently
> suitable for a format.
> For 3:
> HTTP is the protocol of the Web, this is the obvious starting point.
> But to be useful in a context like this it needs to be be built upon
> to cover practical aspects like editing, version control and
> authentication. The Atom Publishing Protocol (APP) [3] is being
> designed to  cover these, and is eminently suitable for a protocol.
> APP can easily carry uFs as a payload. uFs can be deterministically
> mapped to RDF models (see GRDDL [4]). All three build on solid
> standards. Best of all worlds.
> A couple of comments about points raised on the bif list so far: the
> notion of folders needs pinning down a little. Presumably we're
> talking nested containers, but IMHO leaving this as nested elements in
> X(HT)ML is way too vague. It needs to be mapped to something more
> portable, that works outside of the local doc context.
> Many things like ratings could be derived from other existing vocabs:
> hReview allows rating of a resource. Things like specific application
> behaviour like search aren't really in scope - if the data is
> expressed (and transported) unambiguously, the functionality is
> open-ended.
> [One little side grumble - the examples of xFolk I've seen all leave
> out the profile identifier (html:head/@profile). With it, there's an
> explicit statement by the publisher that the uF is in use, that
> there's data conforming to the profile. Without it, it's anyone's
> guess, not much improvement on scraping.]
> Cheers,
> Danny.
> [1] http://www.holygoat.co.uk/projects/tags/
> [2] http://microformats.org/wiki/xfolk
> [3] http://bitworking.org/projects/atom/
> [4] http://www.w3.org/2004/01/rdxh/spec
> "Semantic Web" <semantic-web at w3.org>, "Microformats Discuss"
> <microformats-discuss at microformats.org>, "Atom-Protocol Protocol"
> <atom-protocol at imc.org>,
> --
> http://dannyayers.com
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