(Prev Next) Part of UserLand's MIDAS Website. Wednesday, August 27, 1997.

MCF and UserLand

UserLand is working on both sides of the Meta Content Format spec -- in content tools and in browsers.

I had a few hours on Christmas morning to do some experimenting and planning. It looks like there's an opportunity for us to add to the MCF standard. It also looks like it's happening, so it's time to jump on the bandwagon and start digging...

Generating MCF directories

The first part of the project is to use Frontier to generate MCF files from websites that live in the Mac file system. We're coming in at this level, instead of limiting it to Frontier-authored websites, so the tool can be most generally useful. Frontier sites eventually become folders in the Mac file system, so everyone can be taken care of with this approach.

I generated the MCF representation of the Frontier site. You can view that at:


Comments and suggestions are welcome on the list. If you're already a HotSaucer, please zoom thru that thing and let us know if it looks OK. Also if you're familiar with MCF format, please review the source for that page and comment on the list.

Configuring the server

According to Joao Pedro Sousa, jsousa@keops.ccg.uc.pt, the correct MIME type for serving MCF stuff is image/vasa. I changed the type on my server; so if you tried it before and it didn't work, please try again. Thanks!

If you're in the Frontier 4.2 loop

I started with Jim Correia's excellent mcfGenerator suite. I'm turning it into something that will be a standard part of the Frontier 4.2 release. Any bug fixes should flow thru the mailing list so both Jim and I can see them.

For people who are in the Frontier 4.2 loop, this will be part of suites.html. You can download a test version of html.utilities.buildMCF at:


I made very minor modifications to Jim's code. Instead of defaulting to the empty string, the author and organization values default to the values already present in the object database. I added a "msg" call to give you something to watch while the MCF file is being generated. The most important change is that it will now be part of the standard Frontier distribution starting with 4.2. Every system will have this code.

The client side -- an outliner browser for MCF...

Since I have the source to several outliners on my hard disk, I'm going to experiment with an outliner browser for MCF. Please watch this page, I'll post screen shots as they're available.

Dave Winer

This page was last built with Frontier on a Macintosh on Wednesday, August 27, 1997 at 7:38:39 PM. Thanks for checking it out! Dave