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RE: [DataGov-DEV] Updated Microdata to RDF Working Draft

From: Owen Ambur <Owen.Ambur@verizon.net>
Date: Tue, 18 Dec 2012 20:50:25 -0500
To: "'Ed Summers'" <ehs@pobox.com>, "'Gannon Dick'" <gannon_dick@yahoo.com>
Cc: "'Peter Krantz'" <peter@peterkrantz.se>, "'egov-ig mailing list'" <public-egov-ig@w3.org>
Message-id: <001d01cddd8b$37a33d50$a6e9b7f0$@Ambur@verizon.net>
Ed, OMB's official guidance to agencies on implementation of section 10 of the GPRA Modernization Act (GPRAMA) says they may use XML, JSON, spreadsheets or CSVs in order to meet the requirement to publish their strategic and performance plans and reports in machine-readable format... but not PDF or HTML -- at least not without "enhanced structural elements".[1]  

It does not say agencies must use *standard* XML, JSON, spreadsheets or CSV formats.  However, OMB Circular A-119 directs agencies to use voluntary consensus standards (like StratML) whenever possible.[2]  Moreover, at the international open gov data conference at the World Bank, the Federal CTO told me agencies know they are expected to use open data standards.  So the question is what good excuses they can come up with not to do so.

If anyone is aware of a JSON-, spreadsheet-, or CSV-based voluntary consensus standard alternative to the StratML standard (ANSI/AIIM 21:2009 & 22:2011), please let me know.  Likewise, I'd love to see how the data contained in strategic and performance plans can be represented in RDF.  I don't doubt that it can be done but I have yet to see anyone do it.  If anyone is willing and able to demonstrate that capability, I'll be happy to post a link(s) at http://xml.gov/stratml/index.htm#Services 


[1] Machine Readable Format. Format in a standard computer language (not English text) that can be read automatically by a web browser or computer system. (e.g.; xml). Traditional word processing documents, hypertext markup language (HTML) and portable document format (PDF) files are easily read by humans but typically are difficult for machines to interpret. Other formats such as extensible markup language (XML), (JSON), or spreadsheets with header columns that can be exported as comma separated values (CSV) are machine readable formats. It is possible to make traditional word processing documents and other formats machine readable but the documents must include enhanced structural elements. http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/assets/a11_current_year/s200.pdf

[2] http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/circulars_a119#6 

-----Original Message-----
From: ed.summers@gmail.com [mailto:ed.summers@gmail.com] On Behalf Of Ed Summers
Sent: Tuesday, December 18, 2012 5:44 PM
To: Gannon Dick
Cc: Peter Krantz; egov-ig mailing list
Subject: Re: [DataGov-DEV] Updated Microdata to RDF Working Draft

I know I might be missing some context here, but the statement that HTML Microdata is an evolutionary dead end is very strong, and in fact I strongly disagree with it. Compared with RDFa, Microdata represents a vastly simplified processing model for consumers of metadata we find in HTML on the Web. It also lacks a lot of the confusing baggage that comes along with semantic web technologies. This simplicity comes at a price of course in the form of lack of expressiveness, and a clear path to using existing RDF driven vocabularies. I say this as a member of the Semantic Web Deployment group (which no longer exists), which had a hand in creating the RDFa standard, and as a publisher of hundreds of thousands of RDFa documents at the Library of Congress [1].

Please correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think anyone on this discussion list is in a place to be able to officially say that the US Government should be using RDFa v1.1 over Microdata. Currently all the schema.org examples use Microdata, and I've seen statements from data.gov about their interest in supporting the use of schema.org [1].
The thread above made it sound like schema.org partners (Google, Bing,
etc) have made a commitment to parse RDFa. I know there has been some anecdotal evidence [2] that this is the case, but has anyone said anything official yet?

I don't want to make this sound like I think RDFa has no value. I think it does. But in the interests of one (happy) Web, a topic that should be near and dear to the mission of the W3C, could we please refrain from making official sounding statements about what can and cannot be used on US Government websites?


Received on Wednesday, 19 December 2012 01:51:29 UTC

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