pp at myelin.co.nz
Thu Mar 30 16:59:27 PST 2006
Re all this format-of-formats discussion, I should chime in with what
we're doing (well, what we've *done*) in the Structured Blogging
project, which is all about *publishing* microcontent...
Kimbro Staken designed an XML format called MCD, which is more or less a
greatly simplified form of XSLT. It's not a schema language, but rather
a machine-readable set of instructions for editing and publishing types
of microcontent. The SB plugins (Wordpress and Movable Type) include
libraries for interpreting the MCD files, generating editing interfaces
and generating HTML and XML snippets to for publishing microcontent in
web pages and XML feeds.
This is one piece of the puzzle. Many may not like this approach as an
MCD file defines only one editing interface and one way of displaying a
piece of microcontent, when in reality there are many acceptable ways of
editing and displaying it... but for the moment it's a very convenient
way to bootstrap a publishing tool and make it trivial to support new
formats as they arise. Currently, if you develop a new microformat, the
easiest way to allow your users to produce content marked up with it is
to write an MCD file and send it to me to get it included in the
Structured Blogging plugin distribution. Of course there's no reason
why you couldn't *also* make your own plugins that allow people to mark
up their HTML in a more flexible way using your microformat, but
building an MCD file helps keep everyone in the loop and bootstrap
adoption of your format.
It's important to mention (again) that MCD is all about *publishing*
microcontent. An MCD file doesn't tell you anything about what the
fields mean or how you should consume the microcontent. (Although if
you also publish the XML that is used internally to connect the edit and
display aspects, you can read this out of a feed or page and pull it
back into an editing interface).
To consume the microcontent, you could extract the microformatted part
of the HTML output if you have XMDP profiles for all the microformats
used in the output (assuming the display part of the MCD file is marked
up with microformats), or you could use the GRDDL hookup Danny Ayers
worked out for us (it looks like the file got lost, but it should be at
Between MCD and GRDDL, RDF users at least have all they need to produce
and consume microcontent. I think we still have some work to do before
this chain actually works properly, but it'll be there when someone
wants it :-)
1. Ensure that SB plugins correctly add links to profile docs for
microformats used into head/@profile attributes in output HTML.
2. Make sure each microformat has a profile document (XMDP or otherwise).
2. Ensure that all microformat profile docs include
http://www.w3.org/2003/g/data-view in head/@profile and include a <link
rel="transformation"/> element pointing to an XSL file that can turn the
microformat into RDF. See
http://www.w3.org/2004/01/rdxh/spec#grddl-xhtml for details.
Danny Ayers has made an XSL file that turns the SB XML snippets straight
into RDF, so that should work at the moment. In future (after someone
does items #2 and #3 above) it would be nice to replace this with a
bunch of XSL files that turn the individual bits of microformatted
content into RDF, in order to support microformatted content that's not
published with the SB plugins.
More information about the microformats-discuss