The problem is that all the Web knows about is URIs, and the Web can’t tell whether a URI points to a home page, a picture of a cute cat, or to one of a dozen daily entries on some blog... And I bet, down the road, once we really have the notion of a site, we’ll be able to think of all sorts of other useful things to do with it.
This series of posts builds on the thinking Tim puts out, so I recommend you look at his article before continuing.
What I have done in the following series of posts was to try and map out a model of what a web site is, break it down into it’s atomic pieces, and determine if there’s a way to represent the data in a machine and human readable format. Some of these articles, like the “WSMD as RSS/WSMD as Atom” article, could safely be skipped if you’re pressed for time.
If you read through most or all of this, let me use this post to thank you (I wasn’t sure where else to put it). If you decide there’s merit enough in this proposal to implement a WSMD file for your site, please drop me a line. If you have constructive criticism related to anything here, please let me know. I’m convinced that the ideas outlined here will work, and I’d like to see where it goes.
Update: added a warning to the WSMD as XHTML page not to download the WSMD file directly.
Update: a bit of Googling revealed that the term “WSDF” which I had been using until Jan 15, 2004, was being used in a Web Services context. In order to avoid confusion, I decided to call this format Web Site MetaData.