Skip to main content

RSS, Microformats, Tagging, OpenID
Extending the OSI Model - Part II

Continuing from my previous post, clearly the web of software services to inter-operate with each other need an extension of the OSI Model to services level. There are many service which are working in this direction viz.

RSS: Really Simple Syndication
RSS is a format used to publish updates of your website content. Typically RSS is used by news websites or blogs - where content is dynamic and requires users to keep checking the site for updates.
RSS updates could be just pointers to changes (or summary of changes) or it could contain the full feed ( i.e. all the new content). An RSS is typically read using a feed reader - a program similar to an email client which keeps checking for updates.

While the primary function of an RSS feed is to provide information updates - it also helps in separating the 'presentation' from the underlying 'content' - just as the OSI Model separates presentation from data. With RSS in place, you need not read a blog or news only in the format (font, placement etc) as defined on the original website. Your Feed Readers can chop an churn the content and present it in various forms.

MicroFormats
What RSS does for news/blog content, microformats do for other structured data like your daily schedule information (hCalendar) or contact list (hCard). In fact, we can call RSS a microformat for news-content.

Microformats like RSS separate presentation from data, but more importantly, they enable portability of data. If the format in which data is stored is fixed, it is easy to migrate it from one service to the other, or even better to share the same set of data between two services which perform different functions with the data. For example - you contact list can be stored in Gmail, but shared between your social network, your official email client and your phone address book.

OpenID : Separating Authentication from service
While microformsts (and RSS) provide a separation between the presentation and content, OpenId is an attempt to separate authentication layer from service. If we were to extend the OSI analogy, OpenID is to web services what Sessions layer was to the network.

Using OpenID-enabled sites, users do not need to remember usernames and password. Instead, they only need to be registered on a website with an OpenID "identity provider" (IdP - like Yahoo! or Google or your own site/blog). Since OpenID is decentralized, any website can employ OpenID software as a way for users to sign in; OpenID solves the problem without relying on any centralized website to confirm digital identity.

With microformats and OpenID - SaaS (Software as a Service) becomes a true in its complete form - as the service just needs to build code to transform the data - authentication is done by OpenID and content comes through RSS/microformats.

Tagging
Unlike microformats and OpenID, Tagging is not a protocol but a practice, a philosophy. Services like delicious have started tagging URL's, many other services provide facilities to tag content and data residing on their websites. For example, slideshare allows you to tag presentations, youTube allows you to tag videos and flickr allows you to tag photos.

Tagging does not create an inherent structure into data (like RSS / Microformats), rather provides a mechanism for structure to emerge out of data sets. It enables, what is called in philosophy or science as emergence. In effect, it paves way for information to evolve just the way civilization, humans, animals and the universe evolve.

We will see how all this converges into a new standard that in a way extends the OSI philosophy in the next post.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

How will travel industry transform post-Covid

Unlike philosophers, journalists and teenagers, the world of entrepreneurship does not permit the luxury of gazing into a crystal ball to predict the future. An entrepreneur’s world is instead made of MVPs (Minimum Viable Product), A/B Tests, launching products, features or services and gauging / measuring their reception in the market to arrive at verifiable truths which can drive the business forward. Which is why I have never written about my musings or hypothesis about travel industry – we usually either seek customer feedback or launch an MVPised version and gather market feedback. However, with Covid-19 travel bans across the globe, the industry is currently stuck – while a lot of industry reports and journalistic conjectures are out, there’s no definitive answer to the way forward. Besides there is no way to test your hypothesis since even the traveller does not know what they will do when skies open. So, I decided to don my blogger hat and take the luxury of crystal gazing

Experienced vs. Freshers – an MBA perspective

Shubham and me compiled and created an article during our first year of MBA. It was never published, nevertheless MBA aspirants will find it very useful. Publishing it online for the same purpose. However, Shubham and myself claim a copyright on the text .... and of course very many thanks to all our freinds whose views have helped us compile the article. Experienced vs. Freshers – an MBA perspective By Nikhil Kulkarni, KPMG Shubham Choudhury, Infosys PGDIM- X, NITIE, Mumbai Ashita Mittal was placed during her final year in engineering college with a leading software firm. But she never wanted to be another brick in the wall. She wanted to differentiate herself from other graduates who start their career at the lowest rung of organizational hierarchy. MBA was a natural choice for her. On the other side is Shailesh Dhawla, who worked as a software engineer with a leading software consultancy firm for 3 years. He started his job with some ends in mind, like working with a known c

Ekla Chalo re

Watched "Bose- The forgotten Hero" on Saturday. Gem of a movie and probably the best of Shyam Benegal. Subhash Chandra Bose has always been an inspiring character in the history for the youth. This post however is not about the movie, its about the lead song 'Tanha Rahee' which is based on the poem 'Ekla Chalo Re' by Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore. I had pasted the English translation of this poem on my blog earlier. http://the-complete-man.blogspot.com/2004/12/tsunami-times_30.html However, yesterday I found the original bengali text of the poem and found that the meaning in the above translation was not exact. So I have endeavourer (with the help of Shubham ) to re-translate it into English and Hindi by myself. Here is the output of my work: Bengali Jodi Tor Dak Soone Keu Na Asse Tobe Ekla Chalo re Ekla Chalo Ekla Chalo Ekla Chalore Jodi Keu Katha Na Kai Ore Ore O Abhaga Jodi Sabai Thake Mukh Firae Sabai Kare Bhay Tabe Paran Khule O Tui Mukh Fute Tor Maner