HTML now a data format

About a year ago, I asked the question on this blog whether HTML could and should be used as a data format:

After all, it actually already has semantic constructs appropriate for tabular data, for collections, for hierarchical data and for object graphs of any kind.

Well, apparently I wasn’t the only one to think that (not that I expected I was):

1 Comment

  • The Microdata stuff has been around for a while. The basic gist of it is it make up their own tags (or reuse existing tags) to define miniature little data chunks, such as address book entries or calendars. The problem is, they've been kind if piggybacking on the existing spec, making it do things it wasn't meant to do. In the HTML5 efforts, this is probably the most contentious topic, other than accessibility. Many people are pushing hard for a mechanism that allows HTML authors to arbitrarily create their own tags/attributes as needed, and many folks are pushing hard for this not to happen. Both sides have merit, in my opinion. I see the need for allowing authors to extend the language, but it's a real trick to get the language to be extensible without causing chaos and confusion, it seems.


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