Daniel Chudnov and Ed Summers have been working out a microformats for print citation based on OpenURL, a standard for encoding that sort of data inside a URL.
Talking to Daniel has set off a bit of a "mind bomb" for me; I've been reading up about some of the work that's been done by the academic community, and it's quite amazing how much thought people are putting into it. They have a huge volume of data that they're trying to index / keep track of. It already has some metadata, but it's stored differently in every library. Tricky.
I've thought for a long time that people have low expectations, software-wise, in the blogging community. Hardly anybody in "Web 2.0" (myself included) is building stuff that I would consider impressive from a programming POV. Time consuming to build, perhaps, but not anything special. The exceptions are outfits like Google (working on a massive scale), PubSub (super-fast matching with clever algorithms), Riya (image processing), Microsoft (handwriting recognition).
... and now things are getting interesting, as we, the web guys, accustomed to being able to do pretty much everything we need with some PHP and MySQL, start to work on stuff that overlaps with the academics. A different mindset is required...
... more like this: [