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RE: Public meeting agendas, minutes and XML

From: Sheridan, John <John.Sheridan@nationalarchives.gsi.gov.uk>
Date: Mon, 12 Oct 2009 08:59:48 +0100
Message-ID: <88A6AFA61447AC4AB9F280FC6747F90816F4BA9B@na-exch1.in.tna.local>
To: "eGovIG IG" <public-egov-ig@w3.org>
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One of the nice things about using RDFa and the solutions my colleagues
in COI have developed is the "re-use where we can, invent where we must"
philosophy. Component parts of existing vocabulary are combined, rather
than making something entirely new for each case of problem. 

The ability to re-use existing vocabulary that RDF affords, using them
in new combinations and deploying them in human readable web pages, is
an important advantage for XHTML+RDFa. It's an advantage that is very
telling in exactly this type of scenario.


-----Original Message-----
From: public-egov-ig-request@w3.org
[mailto:public-egov-ig-request@w3.org] On Behalf Of Novak, Kevin
Sent: 08 October 2009 13:14
To: David Pullinger; daniel@citizencontact.com; Owen Ambur
Cc: Betsy Fanning; Arthur Colman; Steven Clift;
johnpaul.deley@eia.doe.gov; Adam J.' 'Schwartz; Metagovernment Startup
Committee; Jane Harnad; Sylvia Webb; eGovIG IG
Subject: RE: Public meeting agendas, minutes and XML


Great stuff, thanks for forwarding on.


-----Original Message-----
From: public-egov-ig-request@w3.org
[mailto:public-egov-ig-request@w3.org] On Behalf Of David Pullinger
Sent: Wednesday, October 07, 2009 7:51 AM
To: daniel@citizencontact.com; Owen Ambur
Cc: 'Betsy Fanning'; Arthur Colman; 'Steven Clift';
johnpaul.deley@eia.doe.gov; Adam J.' 'Schwartz; 'Metagovernment Startup
Committee'; 'Jane Harnad'; Sylvia Webb; 'eGovIG IG'
Subject: RE: Public meeting agendas, minutes and XML

I agree with Daniel's response. 

Here in UK we have developed some RDFa for public sector consultation
descriptions for the same reason which is to enable human-readable
content to be machine processable.  This will not only allow many to
re-use the information appropriately for the services they want to
offer, but also gives the government a means of aggregating a list of
all the consultations into one place to find out how citizens and
stakeholders can contribute to consultations.  You can find the draft
standard we are using at: 

A lot of work that has been done in developing the XML can be re-used
for RDFa - for example all the business analysis of what information is
worth identifying as separate elements and what end-users and developers
want to be able to do with it at the end is some of the most
time-consuming parts of the overall work, preceding the development of
the appropriate ontology.  

For interest, although irrelevant to this strand, we have also developed
a Job Vacancy Description RDFa which is in use across various parts of
the UK public sector.  This allows and encourages re-use by third
parties, which increases accountability and reduces cost to the taxpayer
in filling posts.  You can find it at:

Kind regards,


David Pullinger
Head of Digital Policy
Central Office of Information
Hercules House
7 Hercules Road
London SE1 7DU
020 7261 8513
07788 872321
Twitter #digigov and blogs:  www.coi.gov.uk/blogs/digigov

>>> <daniel@citizencontact.com> 07/10/2009 12:17 >>>
I think that any meeting information should be in XHTML since that is
the human readable form that people actually read and will use. It is
easy then to make the same web page be machine processable. There are
already widely accepted standards for much of the event, GIS, textual,
video and other components of a meeting. 

For example, the web page can include RDFa and/or Microformats for all
of the information as well as link to iCal/vcard and other non-human
readable formats for backwards compatibility.  The page URL for that web
page can also be used as a metadata nugget for tagging/citing things
that happen at the event. And you can use id attributes to allow parts
of the meeting to be found (e.g..
http://example.gov/20100217/meeting.htm#agenda-1 )/or even to have
multiple events in the same page. And then those portions of the meeting
can be separately tagged/cited (note that pure XML non-HTML document is
harder to cite from within an HTML doc-see XLINK). 

If for some reason it feels necessary to create new standards in XML for
this data, I would recommend ALWAYS using a standard XSLT into XHTML and
then including all the Microformat and/or RDFa standards in the
resultant/generated XHTML. The XHTML would could exactly as described as
above. This way there would not need to be the segregation of data from

Also some interesting work has been done on creating transcripts of
videotaped meetings in a crowd sourced manner and for public posting of
meetings by metavid and openmeetings.

Daniel Bennett

eCitizen Foundation

-----Original Message-----
From: "Owen Ambur" <Owen.Ambur@verizon.net>
Sent: Tuesday, October 6, 2009 8:55pm
To: "'Steven Clift'" <clift@e-democracy.org>, "'eGovIG IG'"
Cc: JohnPaul.Deley@eia.doe.gov, "'Schwartz, Adam J.'"
<aschwartz@gpo.gov>, "'Betsy Fanning'" <bfanning@aiim.org>, "'Jane
Harnad'" <jane.harnad@oasis-open.org>, "Arthur Colman"
<colman@drybridge.com>, "Sylvia Webb"
<sylvia.webb@vision4standards.com>, "'Metagovernment Startup Committee'"
Subject: RE: Public meeting agendas, minutes and XML

Steven, I don't know how much time I might be able to devote to it, but
since I have long believed there should be a standard XML schema (XSD)
for posting meeting notices on the Web, I'd have a hard time not
participating in any reasonable effort to specify such a standard.

While the initial iteration of the standard should be as simple and easy
to implement as possible, it would be good to consider enabling
referencing of the <Identifiers> for goals and objectives documented on
the Web in conformance with AIIM's emerging Strategy Markup Language
(StratML) standard.  See http://xml.gov/stratml/index.htm &

Since meetings are (or at least should be) conducted to support
accomplishment of explicitly identified goals and objectives, it would
be good if meeting notices and agendas could reference those goals and
objectives -- which should themselves be documented in standard, readily
referenceable XML format on the Web (e.g., StratML).

Needless to say, that is an objective to which I will be more than happy
to contribute to the best of my ability.

BTW, as you may recall, E-Democracy.org's plan is in the StratML
collection at http://xml.gov/stratml/drybridge/index.htm#Other or, more
specifically, http://xml.gov/stratml/drybridge/eDo.xml 

Owen Ambur
Co-Chair Emeritus, xmlCoP
Co-Chair, AIIM StratML Committee
Member, AIIM iECM Committee
Invited Expert, W3C eGov IG
Communications/Membership Director, FIRM Board Former Project Manager,

-----Original Message-----
From: public-egov-ig-request@w3.org
On Behalf Of Steven Clift
Sent: Tuesday, October 06, 2009 4:38 PM
To: eGovIG IG
Subject: Public meeting agendas, minutes and XML

I am putting final touches on an invited grant proposal that includes an
effort to make public meeting agendas more accessible as well as
encourage discussion of agenda items across the Web 2.0 world in a more
structured and visible way. Folks should be able to plunk in their
address and be told in one place (actually lots of places from local
media sites to government sites) what meetings are coming up across ALL
the local government organizations that serve them (with state and
Federal options too) and be able to set-up personalized notification

Initially, we'd start with an open specification/convening process where
we'd involve a number of stakeholders and I would like to appropriately
suggest we will consult with this network on standards to apply or

Any reason I shouldn't do that?

Then, based on the specification we'd attempt to prototype it with some
serious meeting notice/calendar, agenda, minutes, and links to meeting
document scraping across Minneapolis and perhaps St. Paul.
Ideally, a standard would emerge for governments to simply put out this
data in real-time in XML so scraping is only an interim need ...
although with 30,000 local governments in the U.S. and lots of crowd
sourcing, the scraping will be the only way to get many small
governments into the service for many years.

The modest proposal we are developing is a sub-set of the broader
discussion Participation 3.0 draft we have from here:

If you like this idea and would like to volunteer your expertise or
technology talent, let me know!  It will make it far more likely the
idea will get off the ground sooner than later and not be another
isolated service coming from out of the blue. E-mail me at:

I'll let the group know if we succeed with our proposal.

Steven Clift - http://stevenclift.com

Executive Director - http://E-Democracy.Org Donate today:

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Received on Monday, 12 October 2009 08:00:24 UTC

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