Lets try this “User input” thing, shall we?

I propose a new format, called the Unified Meta Discovery format. This will be an XML based format with a single purpose – to stop every visitor to my site having to download half a million <link> tags contianing references to metadata.

The proposal is as follows:

In the head of the HTML documents, I propose one last <link> tag, <link rel=”meta” type=”application/xml” title=”UMD” href=”/meta/umd.xml”>

Which contains something like the following:

<umd>
	<object>
		<format>foaf</format>
		<name>Friend of a Friend file</name>
		<version>1.0</format>
		<file>http://www.aquarionics.com/meta/foaf.rdf</file>
	</object>

	<object>
		<name>ESF feed of everything on Aquarionics</name>
		<format>esf</format>
		<version>1.0</format>
		<file>http://www.aquarionics.com/meta/all.esf</file>
	</object>

	<object>
		<name>RSS feed of everything on Aquarionics</name>
		<format>rss</format>
		<version>0.94</format>
		<file>http://www.aquarionics.com/meta/all.rss</file>
	</object>

	<object>
		<name>RSS feed of the Aquarionics Weblog</name>
		<format>rss</format>
		<version>0.94</format>
		<file>http://www.aquarionics.com/meta/weblog.rss</file>
	</object>
</umd>

Most of it is self explanitory, but…

  • format is case-insensitive.
  • file is an absolute URL, purely so people can have their synidcation feeds on seperate servers.
  • All of this is subject to discussion.

Ideas? Comments? Dupication of effort? Screams of “For gods sake, Aquarion, not another bloody XML format?