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Machine tags

Published on 24 Dec 2008. Tagged with tagging, programming, i18n, microformats.

Welcome to the machine tag. Machine tags (or triple tags?) are tags of the form:

namespace:key=value

I wonder whether there is already a "standard" for tasks like specifying the language something is written in. At the time of writing this, I use tags like "lang:en" to mark something as (here) English. Following the machine tag scheme, it should be read as "lang=en" without a namespace part (similar to the "lang" HTML attribute). The namespace would have to be a reserved global identifier along the lines of "meta".

Are machine tags useful at all? Or is there a better way or microformat to implement their functionality? I have no idea, but this is all quite fascinating.

On a lighter note: Merry Christmas and happy holidays everyone!

Update: I guess it would make sense to set the current domain name (or perhaps sub-domain/URL in case of multiuser sites?) as namespace if an explicit namespace has been omitted. Following this approach, it might be a good idea to associate every namespace with an URL. This would allow to link machine tags to web service APIs.