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Some comments on GRDDL Spec

From: McBride, Brian <brian.mcbride@hp.com>
Date: Fri, 10 Nov 2006 17:00:11 -0000
Message-ID: <86FE9B2B91ADD04095335314BE6906E88E791F@sdcexc04.emea.cpqcorp.net>
To: <public-grddl-wg@w3.org>

I have been reading

http://www.w3.org/2004/01/rdxh/spec revision 1.160

A few comments below.  I've type labelled the comments - typo, language,
grammar, style etc are editorial comments.  They are intended as helpful
suggestions to the editor and as such can be ignored if the editor
doesn't find them useful.  But let me know if that is the case so I
don't waste any time producing comments that aren't helpful.

1. Intro

1) Typo and necessity

[[
Some offer more formally defined semantics and others more
loosely-couple
]]

Should be "coupled"

Is this sentence necessary?  It doesn't contribute usefully to the
argument or description.

2) language

[[
Recently, two progressive encoding techniques have emerged
]]

I don't understand what makes these techniques progressive.  Is that
"progressive" in the political sense?

To me "progressive encoding" is a technique like that used in
representing images which allows them to be rendered with increasing
fidelity as the data is received.

3) language

[[
  overlay additional semantics
]]

Again the meaning of this is not clear to me.

Maybe something like:

[[
Recently two new techniques have emerged for embedding structured
information in XHTML documents.
]]

4) grammar

[[
Whilst this breadth of expression ...
]]

What breadth of expression?  I don't see any statement about "breadth of
expression" to refer to.

5) language and style
[[
to codify both common
]]

I have a personal aversion to "verbising" nouns.  However there is a
verb "to codify" in the dictionary but its definition doesn't match the
use here http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/codify

"to represent" would be better.

6) language

[[
both common and customized meanings
]]

What is a "customized meaning"?  It would be better to avoid this sort
of use of the word "meaning" as its meaning isn't clear.

Better would be "inspiring new dialects to represent information".

7) language

[[
, it can prove to be a barrier
]]

"prove to" is redundant.

8) language

[[
, it can prove to be barrier to understand across different domains or
fields.  How, for example, does software discover the author of a poem,
...
]]

I don't see how the example relates to the barrier to understanding.
"Understanding" is not something that software does so this looks like a
category error to me.  And I don't understand what the barrier to
understanding is.  Understanding is something that human beings do and I
don't understand how RDFa and microformats are a barrier to human
understanding.  I don't' understand what RDFa and microformats have to
do with spreadsheets and ontologies.

Then follows four examples that don't get referred to locally in the
text and so I don't see what they are for.

So looking at that first section, perhaps the editor might prefer
something along the following lines:

[[
XML documents on the web use many dialects.  There are dialects of
XHTML, XML and RDF that are used to represent many kinds of information
including poerty, prose, invoices, spreadsheets, ontologies and many
others.  Recently two new techniques, microformats and RDFa, for
representing structured information in XHTML documents have emerged.
These are simple, open data formats built upon existing and widely
adopted standards.

With these new data formats a variety of structured information can
easily be encoded in XHTML documents.  This however creates problems for
software developers.  How are they to parse and represent this wide
variety of structured information in their programs?  How are they to
cope with the fact that the same information can be represented in
different ways in different dialects? 

A solution to this problem is to use a common standard for representing
information in a form that is convenient to process and to enable the
designers of dialects of XML to publish transforms from their dialect to
this common standard.
]]

Then again, he might not.

This commenting business takes longer than I like.  I've run out of time
this afternoon, the editor may be pleased to learn.

Brian
Received on Friday, 10 November 2006 17:00:47 GMT

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