[uf-discuss] IE8 + hAtom = hSlice

David Janes davidjanes at blogmatrix.com
Wed Mar 5 11:13:11 PST 2008

On Wed, Mar 5, 2008 at 1:40 PM, Ryan King <ryan at theryanking.com> wrote:
> On Mar 5, 2008, at 7:28 AM, Dimitri Glazkov wrote:
> > It looks like Microsoft is adopting microformats, if not in a rather
> > awkward way:
> >
> > http://www.microsoft.com/windows/products/winfamily/ie/ie8/readiness/DevelopersNew.htm#webslices
> >
> > On one hand, I am thrilled to see hAtom implemented in such an elegant
> > manner, on the other hand, I am puzzled about the 'hslice' nonsense.
> > But hey, I'll take this over some proprietary XML markup any day.
> Yeah, I find it strange that they say that they're using hAtom, but
> then go and mint a new term. Why not just use hAtom and be done with
> it? Would it be too much to ask for this feature to work with *already
> deployed content on the web*?
> </rant>
> Come on, microsoft, you're so close to getting it right here!
> -ryan

Yes, it's very odd. I think they may have done this because they
(maybe) wanted to

- avoid making people think that the "slice" was a weblog
- avoid having to use the required elements in hAtom [1]
- encapsulate the idea of _one_ thing that's being updated

This second one is probably a bigger issue, as I don't know any
reasonable way of getting rid of "updated"/"created" and still have a
complaint Atom document. Maybe make it be the current datetime? I
think this is where the webslice differs from a feed -- it's one thing
that's continually being updated, rather than a feed where _new_
things are appearing all the time.

The whitepapers can be read here [2]. Note the interesting way of
subscribing to a feed (which can only have a single entry, btw):

<a rel="feedurl" ref="auction.microsoft.com/item.xml">Subscribe to WebSlice</a>

I don't see "ref" in HTML 4.01 [3] - something in a new spec or is it
broken HTML? If it was part of a standard I could see uses for it,
such as encoding IDs.

It would have been nice if MS engaged us here, so we could have banged
around some ideas (or flew me to Redmond for consultants ;-) My
thought would be to do something like this:

<div class="hfeed hentry">... the webslice ... </div>

Regards, etc...

[1] which reminds me to get our notes from SGFooCamp for hAtom 0.2 up...
[2] http://code.msdn.microsoft.com/Release/ProjectReleases.aspx?ProjectName=ie8whitepapers&ReleaseId=567
[3] http://www.w3.org/TR/html4/struct/links.html#edef-A

David Janes
Founder, BlogMatrix

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