You've heard of HTML, maybe you've heard of XML. Now there is KnitML!
The KnitML web page explains that KnitML is a markup language which aims to standardize knitting patterns. That means any software application, web page, etc., could read KnitML and render it for users. This is an example sock pattern written in KnitML. It's about as easy to read as a regular sock pattern, I think. But you wouldn't be reading KnitML, you would be reading your native language (English for me).
Right, it can be an international standard. Patterns can be displayed in any language (English, French, German, Spanish, etc.), as long as you have software that can understand KnitML and display patterns in the desired language. A person could export a KnitML pattern from his German software and send it to somebody in Mexico who would import it into her Spanish language software. Cool!
Standardized charts are part of the plan. You could see either a pattern in words or a chart, or both, depending on your preference. Oooooo, me likey!
These patterns could be stored in databases and searched. Ooooh cool! The folks at Ravelry will want to hop on this right away :-)
Geeky types will love this :-)
If Ravelry can get off the ground, then this markup language can fly too. All it takes is a small team of people willing to work work work work.