I created a proof of concept of a booklist in OPML, both human and machine readable, that can point to other people's lists as well for discovery.

@ton I miss the "text" attribute so my tool failed on your OPML. Isn't "text" mandatory according to ?

@x28de yes, it is. Thanks, I realise I had postponed the decision on what to put in 'text', title, author or both. In a next step I probably should also move some of the other attributes in underlying outline nodes. And a question is what of the things I'd want to use are and aren't defined in other w3 namespaces. Now the choices are mine, so not to spec as such.

@x28de Do you perhaps know of an outliner tool that lets you at least view/explore the attributes an opml file contains. My current outliner tools only ever look at the text attribute, and Tinderbox also looks at url attributes and a few specific ones more. But I haven't seen an outliner tool that allows you to determine which attributes to keep from an OPML you load. You?

@ton No, sorry. I played a bit with my own tool here
And Dave Winer's does at least show all attributes.

@x28de @ton So this plus looking at these pressbooks made me think about getting books into RSS readers.

After all, a book is a list (aka, a feed) of chapters, and can be treated as such. The trick is finding books to 'subscribe' to to fill out your 'library'.


Hi Tom. This is very cool! I'm curious though about your thoughts on the terms machine readable and federated.

I've always interpreted machine readable as requiring semantic encoding, but I don't see that in your data.

Is there something I'm missing, or do you have a different view of machine readability? Something else?

@emacsen machine readable as in The opml is structured data, where each node has a range of data attributes (which mostly also follow, and can be machine read (such as trivially by it being processed through a XSL template). (The data structure is not visible in the html rendering or when imported into a default opml reader though. But view source in the html rendering shows the data structure) Or do you mean something else?


It's machine parsable, but I'm asking about the issue of semantic meaning.

This gets somewhat "theoretical" because what does semantic mean. Is OpenStreetMap data semantic? It depends who you ask.

But what I mean here is essentially Linked Data. Is there a way I can say "When Tom says book and Alice says book, they mean the same thing."

We can do that in something like JSON-LD, or in an RDF, which has an XML representation. That's sort of the last loop of semanticness.

@emacsen Ah I see. I'm not after linked data. I'm after machines reading it, parsable. It is structured data otherwise, the data attributes in it use standard definitions (book is a type e.g. with defined attributes) where possible, so could be connected to other sources using the same thing. My file doesn't currently point to yet, but should, yes. All linked data is machine readable, not all machine readable data is linked data.

@emacsen Similarly wrt 'federated', I use the term because the original blogpost by someone else that triggered mine used it. 'networked' is probably better, as it doesn't carry fediverse overtones. In this case networked is that you can include lists directly from other sources into your own list at any point, as a branch on your tree structure, and point from any book node to another list as where one found it. This is not a linked data link, but a discovery focused link.

Sign in to participate in the conversation

Ton's personal Mastodon instance