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Re: Multiple itemtypes in microdata

From: Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>
Date: Fri, 14 Oct 2011 03:48:34 +0000 (UTC)
To: Bradley Allen <bradley.p.allen@gmail.com>
cc: Stéphane Corlosquet <scorlosquet@gmail.com>, public-html-data-tf@w3.org
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.64.1110140334020.27449@ps20323.dreamhostps.com>
On Thu, 13 Oct 2011, Bradley Allen wrote:
> 
> SWAN provides a vocabulary for describing scientific hypotheses; AO 
> provides a vocabulary for annotation of scholarly documents.

Do you have any links to pages where I might learn more about these? (I 
tried searching Google for [SWAN scientific hypotheses] and [AO scholarly 
documents] but didn't get any useful results. :-( )

> They are distinct vocabularies, developed for distinct purposes. Due to 
> their highly technical nature, they are unlikely to be specializations 
> of any meaningful class within schema.org.

Yes, I wouldn't expect schema.org to have any relevance to this particular 
use case.


> Furthermore, tools and workflows have been created to produce and 
> consume content marked up with these vocabularies, to provide support 
> for peer review and collaborative research, for example in the context 
> of communities like the Alzheimer Research Forum 
> (http://www.alzforum.org).

Do you have any links to documentation about these consuming tools? I 
would love to be able to study them further.


> As a publisher of scientific content, IMO HTML5 with microdata would be 
> a valuable delivery format for scholarly content marked up with such 
> structured data. What I would like to do, in that case, is be able to 
> express the following as something that subject matter expert could 
> insert into a article about Alzheimer's Disease:
> 
> <p itemscope itemtype="http://purl.org/ao/core/Annotation
> http://swan.mindinformatics.org/ontologies/1.2/discourse-elements/ResearchStatement">
>   Testosterone may play an important role in the prevention of
> Alzheimer's Disease (AD) in men.
> </p>
> 
> The content of the <p> tag is both a ResearchStatement and an 
> Annotation.

I assume those two itemtypes are supposed to be examples (they both 404). 
I'm not sure what an "Annotation" is supposed to be here. I would presume 
a research statement is a property of a scholarly document.

Assuming that there is an HTML page that is a scholarly document and that 
contains scientific hypotheses, you can use microdata today to mark such a 
page up with no problems, as far as I can tell. No single item would be 
both a scholarly document and a scientific hypothesis; instead you would 
mark them up, something like this:

   ...
   <body itemscope itemtype="http://swan.example.org/scholarly-doc">
    <h1>A study of birds</h1>
    <section>
     <h1>Abstract</h1>
     <p itemprop="abstract">We look at birds and see if they have 
     wings or lips.</p>
    </section>
    <section>
     <h1>Hypotheses</h1>
     <p itemscope itemtype="http://example.net/ao/hypothesis">
      <span itemprop="description">We hypothesise that birds have 
      wings.</span> <span itemprop="reason">We base this on the
      circumstancial evidence that birds have wings according to the
      dictionary.</span>
     </p>
     <p itemscope itemtype="http://example.net/ao/hypothesis">
      We also consider lips. <span itemprop="description">We presume
      that birds have lips.</span> You may ask why we think that. <span 
      itemprop="reason">We are just guessing.</span>
     </p>
    </section>
    ...
   </body>
   
This is a microdata document with three items. As JSON, this data looks 
like this:

{
  "items": [
    {
      "type": "http://swan.example.org/scholarly-doc",
      "properties": {
        "abstract": [
          "We look at birds and see if they have\n     wings or lips."
        ]
      }
    },
    {
      "type": "http://example.net/ao/hypothesis",
      "properties": {
        "description": [
          "We hypothesise that birds have\n      wings."
        ],
        "reason": [
          "We base this on the\n      circumstancial evidence that birds have wings according to the\n      dictionary."
        ]
      }
    },
    {
      "type": "http://example.net/ao/hypothesis",
      "properties": {
        "description": [
          "We presume   \n      that birds have lips."
        ],
        "reason": [
          "We are just guessing."
        ]
      }
    }
  ]
}

(See http://goo.gl/OgF8C for a live view of this.)


> I am using emerging standard vocabularies that have been developed for 
> separate purposes in a succinct, clear manner. IMO, that is the way in 
> which most of the people at the workshop would have assumed that support 
> for multiple itemtypes would work.

I don't see any reason in this case that any one item would have multiple 
types, but maybe that's because I don't understand the vocabularies in 
question. I would be very interested in studying the vocabularies and the 
software that consumes them.


Incidentally, note that you can't just take, say, an RDF vocabulary, or a 
Microformats vocabulary, and just use it in microdata directly. A 
microdata vocabulary has to define processing rules that are often not 
provided for RDF and Microformats vocabularies, and has to use the terms 
defined in the HTML specification to describe how the terms work. You can 
see examples of how to define vocabularies in the HTML standard:

   http://www.whatwg.org/specs/web-apps/current-work/multipage/microdata.html#mdvocabs

HTH,
-- 
Ian Hickson               U+1047E                )\._.,--....,'``.    fL
http://ln.hixie.ch/       U+263A                /,   _.. \   _\  ;`._ ,.
Things that are impossible just take longer.   `._.-(,_..'--(,_..'`-.;.'
Received on Friday, 14 October 2011 03:53:01 GMT

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