Making generic XML work

So I just read Anne’s Why generic XML on the web is a bad idea, and got an idea. Suppose there were a way, probably using RDF or something, map certain elements in it to well-accepted elements in another namespace?

It would work as follows

  1. I have a document, which, for whatever reason, can’t be appropriately expressed in any well-accepted XML language (XHTML, MathML, ChemML, OpenDocument, whatever).
  2. I give this document appropriate semantics and create a namespace for those semantics, and a description of them at that namespace.
  3. Somewhere in the namespace’s URI I include a bit of information (again, probably using RDF or something else I don’t understand) that says, for example, <angry> is a subset of <xhtml:em> where xhtml is in the standard XHTML namespace.
  4. A search engine comes along and sees your document. While it can’t fully understand your document, and there may even be parts of it it can’t understand at all, it can still understand bits and pieces of it, and can do whatever it does appropriately.

Whadya think?

3 Responses to “Making generic XML work”

  1. Jimmy Cerra says:

    XSLT to your arbitrary language of choice. :-) If you restrict yourself to RDF, then OWL is easier.

  2. Mark Wubben says:

    Heh, I wrote something similar on Anne’s place:

  3. [...] New namespaces would be easy to generate, and it would be easy to make machines (partially) understand them, without needing those machines to be updated at all. See my post on this topic. [...]