Downloads formats

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This is a page for documenting existing formats for downloads as part of the effort to develop a Downloads microformat for authors and publishers to markup software (application, plugin, perhaps even operating system) downloads that they create and publish.

Per the microformats The microformats process:



Portable Application Description (PAD) is an XML format:

What is PAD? PAD is the Portable Application Description, and it helps authors provide product descriptions and specifications to online sources in a standard way, using a standard data format that will allow webmasters and program librarians to automate program listings. PAD saves time for both authors and webmasters. For more, see the PAD FAQ. [1]

Microformats & Pad were discussed on Usenet in March 2006


Quoted from the Connected Flow Appcast page:

Appcasting is the practice of using the 'enclosure' feature of RSS 2.0 feeds to deliver updates and release notes for new software applications.

Appcast + Sparkle

Sparkle, an application update framework, uses appcasts as described above, but adds several new features. An appcast with Sparkle extensions can, for example, have MD5 sums and DSA signatures.


DOAP (Description Of A Project) is a way of describing open-source projects. It has a file-release property which can be used for describing application updates.

Apple Software Update XML

Apple's Software Updater uses XML files. There seem to be two ones: an iTunes-specific one, and a general-purpose one. For example, here's a typical software update description.

Related pages