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an RDFa publishing use case

From: Bob DuCharme <bob@snee.com>
Date: Thu, 14 Dec 2006 23:28:35 -0500 (EST)
Message-ID: <3270.>
To: public-rdf-in-xhtml-tf@w3.org

I'm submitting a use case that I believe demos both a new "what" and a new
"how" for RDFa. The what: storing metadata about individual components of
a published work, in particular, a magazine. When I threw some RDFa
material into a presentation on XHTML 2 that the PRISM magazine metadata
industry group had me do last spring, they were very receptive. (I think
that XHTML 2's potentially greater structural richness will have more
shops using XHTML 2 to store content--or at to transmit content to
business partners--because it can hit a sweet spot between the flatness of
XHTML 1 and the potential complexity of DocBook.) RDFa will make it easier
to add metadata about discrete units of the document, typically as
enclosed by section elements.

The "how": Much of RDFa seems oriented toward exposing HTML PCDATA for use
by triple-consuming software, and it's great at that. I think it's good at
more than that, and this same use case is a good place to demonstrate
this. Publisher metadata can be a little more meta (workflow information,
rights re-use) and have nothing to do with the content from a reader's
perspective. The fact that RDFa allows a block of out-of-line metadata to
be grouped together in the /html/head element will fit well with publisher
workflows. They can insert a block of relevant metadata into the header
and send the whole thing off to the business partner.

Ron Daniel's work as an original member of the PRISM group got them all
interested in RDF, but RDF/XML, striping, etc. scared them off, and I
think RDFa could win them back--it could be to RDF/XML what XML was to
SGML in terms of simplifying things enough to make it easier for a wider
variety of people to use.


Bob DuCharme


Use case: Foo Magazine ships content to aggregators and business partners
using XHTML 2, because the greater structural possibilities over XHTML 1
make it easier to group components of an article (e.g. pictures, recipes,
sidebars of book excerpts) into individual elements of an XHTML file. They
want to pull some content from their repository, and instead of sprinkling
the metadata throughout the document, they want to insert a block of
workflow and rights re-use metadata about the document and its components
into a single point in the XHTML file and then ship the document off to a
business partner. (Many schemas have a header element separate from the
body element so that the header element can be a placeholder for document
metadata; it's a natural place for it.) The sample XML shown here has a
little metadata about the document itself, a little about one subcomponent
(a recipe) and a little about a subcomponent of that, a picture within the

  <html xmlns:fm="http://www.foomagazine.com/ns/xyz"
      <meta property='fm:newsStandDate='2006-04-03'/>
      <meta property='pr:coverDate='2007-02-24'/>
      <meta about="#recipe13941">
        <meta property="fm:ComponentID">XZ3214</meta>
        <meta property="fm:ComponentType">Recipe</meta>
        <meta property="fm:RecipeID">r003423</meta>
      <meta about="#pic9932">
        <meta property="dc:creator">Joe Smith</meta>
        <meta property="pr:embargoDate">2007-03-12</meta>
      <h>Add Some Tex Mex Sizzle to Your Kid's Lunch</h>
      <section id='recipe22143'>
        <h>Amigo Corn Dogs</h>
        <img id="pic9932" src="http://www.foomagazine.com/img/342.jpg"/>
        <!-- li, p, etc. -->
      <section id='recipe13941'>
        <h>EZ Bean Tacos</h>
        <!-- li, p, etc. -->
      <!-- more content -->
Received on Friday, 15 December 2006 04:28:48 UTC

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