Though my blog has been quiet for several days, it doesn’t mean I haven’t been working on online projects. Since I launched it over a week ago, http://www.dotnetinfluencers.org/ has taken a lot of my time, but it is coming along better than I had hoped for! If you not familiar with what I’m doing over at dotnetinfluencers.org, basically it is a Wiki, but with a twist. Instead of a normal wiki where everyone is encouraged just to write stuff, I’m encouraging people to help me define an XML schema about people, activities, events, and so forth related to .NET programming.
The idea is instead of a lot of writing define a list of properties for each item and then programatically we can generate lists based on those properties. I’m using FlexWiki and it has a language called WikiTalk which we’ll use to process the properties and provide the lists. Just to give you an idea of what I’m talking about, here is most of the actual text at this moment for a Wiki page about MSDN Magazine (the properties are the list of the colons, the values on the right; to understand the rest you’ll need to learn about WikiFormatting):
:Summary: About MSDN Magazine TopicType: DotNetPeriodical PeriodicalPublisher: [CMP] PeriodicalName: MSDN Magazine PeriodicalShortName: [MSDN] PeriodicalEditor: ??? PeriodicalFormerEditors: JoshuaTrupin PeriodicalLanguage: [English] PeriodicalFirstPublished: 2000Mar PeriodicalFormerNames: MicrosoftSystemsJournal, MicrosoftInteractiveDeveloper PeriodicalUrl: http://msdn.microsoft.com/msdnmag/ PeriodicalStatus: [Active]
From the above and numerous other wiki "topics", we can generate an automatic list of periodicals on dotNetInfluencers.org:, and/or many other lists. Now don’t those page properties look suspiciously like attributes or subelements of an XML element? I thought you’d think so… If you haven’t seen dotNetInfluencers.org, check it out. Browse around to get a feel for the site, and then add yourself and/or anything related to .NET. Better yet, if you’d like to help me build this site to the point we can define and public the XML Schema which is the purpose and goal of the site, send an email to mikes (at) xtras.net.
UPDATE: This project is no more and my email address has changed.