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Re: an alternative for microformat-like simplicity

From: Mark Birbeck <mark.birbeck@webbackplane.com>
Date: Tue, 28 Jul 2009 16:32:34 +0200
Message-ID: <ed77aa9f0907280732n5d0c1095wd2e1fc059893f613@mail.gmail.com>
To: martin@weborganics.co.uk
Cc: Shane McCarron <shane@aptest.com>, Doug Schepers <schepers@w3.org>, RDFa TF list <public-rdf-in-xhtml-tf@w3.org>
Hi all,

As Shane says, I think we've lost sight of the issue here. :)

On Fri, Jul 31, 2009 at 2:11 AM, Martin McEvoy<martin@weborganics.co.uk> wrote:
> [...]
>
> If it were possible, it would allow a microformats like markup, which in my
> view would be a whole lot more elegant and readable than the crufty,
> slightly over the top approach RDFa has now using xmlns...
>
> [...]

I think the way to look at it is much like the infoset in XML. An
underlying canonical form is defined, and once that is stable, you can
layer on top of it all sorts of semantic sugar to make things easier.

The RDFa TF has essentially been dealing with the underlying layer,
but we've always known that easier mark-up is a goal. But since we
also know that 'Microformats don't scale', we can hardly expect to get
the same simplicity without first establishing this layer.

This kind of simplicity -- built on a solid architecture -- is exactly
what was proposed in detail here:

  <http://webbackplane.com/mark-birbeck/blog/2009/04/30/tokenising-the-semantic-web>

Note by the way that the attribute name being put forward in this
proposal is @token, because I believe we need to move away from *both*
the idea of a prefix, *and* the idea of 'I would like to use this
vocabulary', and instead look at a more generic solution (bear in mind
that CURIEs are also used in @role, for example, which is nothing to
do with RDFa).

So, my point is that neither the attribute name, nor the fact that we
would like a microformats-style syntax is actually the subject of this
discussion; the second is a given, and the first is pretty easy, when
we're ready.

The key thing is Ben's proposal at the top of this thread, which
suggests that the mapping between items should not occur at this
'token' level, but at the level of RDF itself, via OWL.

That's what people need to be discussing here, since it's a completely
different way of approaching the issue to the one outlined in my blog
post.

Choosing a name for an attribute is not going to be an issue; but
unravelling the level of abstraction at which the mapping of terms
should take place, will be.

Regards,

Mark

-- 
Mark Birbeck, webBackplane

mark.birbeck@webBackplane.com

http://webBackplane.com/mark-birbeck

webBackplane is a trading name of Backplane Ltd. (company number
05972288, registered office: 2nd Floor, 69/85 Tabernacle Street,
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Received on Tuesday, 28 July 2009 14:33:15 GMT

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