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Comments on RFD/A Primer

From: DuCharme, Bob (LNG-CHO) <bob.ducharme@lexisnexis.com>
Date: Wed, 2 Nov 2005 16:43:55 -0500
Message-ID: <216A47D0C2D1574B9A9169A664C376FD027F488F@LNGDAYEXCP01VB.legal.regn.net>
To: public-rdf-in-xhtml-tf@w3.org
Looks good. These comments focus more on the document's role as a primer
than on the technical ideas presented. While it does a good job of telling
RDF people how to incorporate RDF concepts into XHTML, I understand a key
goal of RDF/A to be making it easier for XHTML people to adopt the concepts
of RDF into their XHTML, so I tried to focus on the potential perspective of
an XHTML author who's heard of RDF and is thinking of maybe (or maybe not!)
adopting RDF/A. Being a primer, it  needs to do a little more hand-holding.
Abstract:  "The reader is expected to be fairly familiar with XHTML, and
somewhat familiar with RDF <insert>and the n3 notation of RDF</insert>."
Purpose of RDF/A: A primer for something with such a cryptic name should
explain what the name means before starting in on syntax. (If there's no
simple explanation of what the "/A" means that would make sense to mythical
XHTML author mentioned above, maybe it needs a new name...)
2.2  "This clickable link has an intended semantic meaning: it
<delete>is<delete><insert>references</insert> the document's license."
(The link isn't the license!)
 In RDF/A, the href attribute can contain a Compact URI (CURIE), which makes
the expression of <delete>numerous</delete> metadata statements far more
(The antecedent of "which" is "a Compact URI", singular, and I don't believe
a single CURIE can contain numerous metadata statements.) 
3.2  "In certain cases, one wants to include multiple RDF elements in a
given document"
Instead of the phrase "RDF elements" I would either say "multiple RDF/XML
elements" or change the word "elements" to something else. 
"Note how the meta and link apply to the parent node's about if that about
This kind of language (e.g. the use of "meta" and "about" as nouns) is OK
for casual discussion, but inappropriate for a spec or for a primer aimed at
people approaching this material for the first time. I'd suggest something
like this:
"Note how the meta and link elements apply to the subject identified by the
parent node's about attribute, if such an attribute exists." 
3.3 " it's quite easy to see how XHTML elements might represent RDF entities
on a regular basis"
What's an RDF entity? Also, "on a regular basis" implies "regularly over
time" to me. Would it be more accurate to say "easy to see how a wide
variety of XHTML elements might store RDF metadata statements"?
4.2 Add one more sentence telling the mythical XHTML author why reification
is useful. e.g. "This can be useful to add metadata about metadata to a
document, such as the date that the licensing metadata was added, as shown
above, or the name of the person who added some metadata".
In general, I think RDF/A looks great, and it will provide a superior
alternative to practices like the commented-out RDF/XML I've seen in
MoveableType XHTML. To appeal to the people who make such decisions, though,
I think the Primer needs to balance all the "we didn't forget this corner
case" parts with more "look how easy it is" parts. 
Bob DuCharme
Received on Wednesday, 2 November 2005 21:44:22 UTC

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