Archive for February, 2006

Archive for February, 2006

How Can XOXO Be Used?

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XOXO is the most abstract and extensible of all the microformats. While what it can be used for certainly is not infinite, and there are some things it should not be used for, it can certainly be used for a great many varying applications. This post intends to be a discussion of some examples of such use cases.

No Available Microformat
If you want to mark up a part of a webpage in a structured way, either because you feel that a reason for someone wanting to write code to parse the data is probable, or because you wish to write such code yourself, you should first check the microformats list for an existing microformat dealing with your data type. If no suitable microformat exists, XOXO may be the answer. Be careful however, if your particular usage can be generalised into something common across the web that would benefit from standardised markup you may have a candidate for suggesting a new microformat.

XOXO can usually easily be styled using CSS to look the same as a non-XOXO page. This combined with the ease of parsing the format makes it very useful in most cases where data needs to be parseable but there is no existing microformat available. It is reccomended to use ‘standard’ fields (fields not included in the optional DL-list element) wherever possible, however whether or not to use anchor tags when there is no HREF is debateable.

Extending Existing Microformats
XOXO can also be easily used to extend existing microformats. For example, the XOXO Blog Format complies fully with the hAtom microformat, but also adds options for more data to be encapsulated. XOXO is very useful for this because its markup can easily be made to comply with most other microformats, meaning that parsers of the microformat in question will be able to handle it just fine, while XOXO parsers will be able to extract the extra data as well. In addition to this, if the extra data provided by the XOXO extension is stored in ‘Alternate-A fields’, and not in ‘DL-fields’, most microformat parsers can be easily modified to support the extra fields without strict XOXO compliance.

When not to use XOXO
There are a couple reasons not to use XOXO to mark up your data.

  1. If there is an existing microformat that will serve your purpose as it is (check the microformats list)
  2. If your use case qualifies for the creation of a new microformat

Time for an Update

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So it’s time for an update. I haven’t updated in awhile for two reasons (1) not much has happened (2) I keep forgetting ๐Ÿ˜› The latter being the more truthful of the two. Every time I think in the afternoon or evening ‘I should write a post tomorrow’, I completely forget during the day ๐Ÿ˜› Not that anyone cares prolly — the only two ppl who really read this a lot are prolly Trev and Chels, and I talk to Chels everyday and Trev most days. Anyway… so… what’s been happening with me?

Well I’ve been catching up with Chels ๐Ÿ™‚ Four (or five? more?) months of separation do things to you — and one of those things is that you tend to lose touch some ๐Ÿ˜‰ I’ve been having great fun just hanging with her, playing randomquestionstilwedrop, and torturing Markus (so sorry, I’m gonna try to tone it down, honest!). I’ve also been doing school (duh) and the good news is that my grades are coming up some — although they really need to come up a lot more for me to be halfway happy with them ๐Ÿ˜› I’ve been working on my many projects, although muchos less than before. I also just finished reading the world’s stoopeedest book. I’m not kidding. Uncle Kerwin told me to read it because it was atrociously lousy, partly to get a second opinion, mostly for kicks. It’s called Seawitch, don’t remember the author now, but it is so terribly disjointed and dry and confusing with poor wordings and completely unrealistic sequences that the author really deserves to be taken out and shot!! I’m not a hard-core good-literature-only sort of guy, but some things are just too dumb to be worth considering… at least now I know that some of the ‘worse’ books are not as bad as they at first did seem (ie HG Wells stuff) ๐Ÿ˜‰

Was that enough? Want me to keep going? Did you even make it this far? I hope to be posting some stuff to my Flickr soon… I have such a photo backlog by now that it’s getting pretty rediculous and will take awhile to catch up… I also need to remember to scan in my EBC application today (I know, terrible, Trev’s accepted and I’m not applied :P)… but I guess this is it for now, so until next time.

Remember, God made you special, and He loves you very much ๐Ÿ˜‰

Gmail Chat

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Google is launching inline chatting for Gmail in the near future. There is already an option in your Gmail settings (or at least in mine, it seems to be coming online account-by-account) to save all your Google Talk chat logs into a section of your Gmail account called ‘chats’, to be searchable just like your email. There is also an information page stating that they plan to include the ability to chat directly from your Gmail screen (a la Meebo and others). This should prove interesting.

BoxtheWeb 0.20 and Reading Lists

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BoxtheWeb 0.20 has been released, and with it many different new features. One of the most notable, is support for reading lists. Those new to the concept of reading lists may like this TechCrunch article as a starting point. Basically, the idea is to be able to subscribe to lists of what other people subscribe to. The new version of BoxtheWeb includes ‘subscription boxes’, which allow you to subscribe to XOXO, OPML, or even RSS/ATOM feeds and give a list of feeds referenced. Each of these feeds can then either be previewed or added to your own BoxtheWeb screen.

Each BoxtheWeb account also now publishes a public feed of the its boxes in XOXO and OPML format. This feed can be filtered to contain only feeds or by tag. Boxes may be marked private so that they are not added to this feed. There is no direct mention of the email address anywhere in the URL or the file, only an MD5 hash (although passing an actual address instead of a hash will work, and result in a feed that contains the email address in ownerName). You can see examples of these feeds by clicking the XOXO or OPML links beside ‘Reading List’ in my sidebar.