rNews is here. And this is what it means. by EVAN SANDHAUS.
From the post:
On January 23rd, 2012, The Times made a subtle change to articles published on nytimes.com. We rolled out phase one of our implementation of rNews – a new standard for embedding machine-readable publishing metadata into HTML documents. Many of our users will never see the change but the change will likely impact how they experience the news.
Far beneath the surface of nytimes.com lurk the databases — databases of articles, metadata and images, databases that took tremendous effort to develop, databases that the world only glimpses through the dark lens of HTML.
A rather slow lead into the crux of the story, the New York Times has started embedding rNews snippets in its news stories as of January 23rd, 2012. With the use of rNews to expand in the future.
Interesting result if you follow the request to paste the URL for The Bookstores Last Stand, http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/29/business/barnes-noble-taking-on-amazon-in-the-fight-of-its-life.html, into the Google Rich Snippet tool. Go ahead, I’m not going anywhere, try it.
The New York Times has already diverged from the schema that it wants others to follow: “Warning: Page contains property “identifier” which is not part of the schema.”
Earlier in the article Evan notes:
Several extensions to HTML have emerged that allow web publishers to explicitly markup structural metadata. These technologies include Microformats, HTML 5 Microdata and the Resource Description Framework in Attributes (RDFa).
For these technologies to be usefully applied, however, everybody has to agree what things should be called. For example, what The Times calls a “Headline,” a blogger might call a “Title,” and a German publisher might call an “überschrift.”
To use these new technologies for expressing underlying structure, the web publishing industry has to agree on a standard set of names and attributes, not an easy task. (emphasis added)
Using common names whenever possible but adapting (rather than breaking) in the event of change would be a better strategy.
One that would serve the NYT until 2173 and keep articles back to January 23rd 2012 as accessible as the day they were published.