Saturday, August 19, 2006



I encountered the notion of "microformats" yesterday, and looked more closely today. I'm not sure I really get it, but my first impression is that it is using the "profile" meta element in html4 to approximate a schema using nested lists. The even go a bit farther, specifying the "most appropriate" html block or construct (defining how the xslt should transform to xhtml, if that were the genertion process). In this way, xhtml documents can be interpreted (parsed?) as if they were xml; and applications that know what to look for in "class" properties.

Excerpt of their principleMy interpretation
Reuse the schema (names, objects, properties, values, types, hierarchies, constraints) as much as possible from pre-existing, established, well-supported standards by reference.Start from a schema/dtd
Use the most accurately precise semantic XHTML building block for each object etc. . . Otherwise use a generic structural element. Map its structural nature to an html element (what would the xslt produce?).
Use class names based on names from the original schema, unless the semantic XHTML building block precisely represents that part of the original schema.Copy the name of the element (xml) to the class attribute of the html tag.
Finally, if the format of the data according to the original schema is too long and/or not human-friendly, . . . use a special technique.Use a work-around for ugly data.


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