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RE: Now it's RDF vs Microformats

From: Uldis Bojars <uldis.bojars@deri.org>
Date: Mon, 26 Feb 2007 02:37:33 -0000
To: "'Lee Feigenbaum'" <feigenbl@us.ibm.com>, <public-sweo-ig@w3.org>
Message-ID: <E1HLVkB-0001lX-Rv@aji.w3.org>

Lee Feigenbaum wrote on Friday, February 23, 2007 9:40 PM:

>From where I sit, it seems to be the microformats crowd that has no
>interest in being cooperative with the RDF crowd. (c.f. recent posts like
http://ben-ward.co.uk/journal/fao-rdf/ ) 

> In addition, there seems to be an implicit assumption in much of what I
see from the microformat community 
> that RDF is only successful if it marks content up on the Web ala RDFa or
eRDF. I know that there is somewhat 
> of a split even within SWEO on the corporate SW vs. SW-on-the-web, but to
me comments like 
> "The thing about RDF is that no-one has yet demonstrated any real-world
reason to care about it" 
> seem to beg for some SWEO intervention.

One of the main principles of microformats "specific solutions to specific
problems" is also one of the main reasons why (and how) microformats can
benefit from RDF. 

That is consuming and storing information described with microformats. There
are separate microformats for different kinds of information - and the
software consuming this data has to know how to store and process each of
them. When a new microformat is introduced existing applications may not be
able to store and process them without creating new data structures first.
This is where RDF may help - it has a generic data model and will be able to
store new microformats right away (after they are converted to RDF).

The next benefit is that RDF has a simple data model in which all relations
[between data objects] are made explicit - which helps to clarify the
implicit interconnections between different mFormats which Paul Walsh was
writing about:

"Nothing has smaller units than RDF, nothing is more decentralized than RDF,
nothing is more modular than RDF. I've just written a MF-to-RDF converter,
the implicit interconnections between the different MFs are rather complex
for both publishers and consumers. They also make up at least 50% of the
questions on the MF IRC channel ( la "what are the exact semantics of a
rel-tag in an hreview in an hentry")."

I can only agree to earlier posts - it makes sense to work together and
avoid falling into the trap of "us or them" mindset. Even if the communities
will not be working together right away there is something that both
communities want to do and are doing - creating a Web of richer data. 

Within the SIOC project [1] we are generating some RDF data from community
sites (largest part via the WordPress SIOC plugin [1]) and want to get more
RDF data out there. It is [probably] much less than what is generated via
microformats, but it is a large enough set of useful data. Now we need more
applications that can consume this information and show its practical

[1] http://sioc-project.org/wordpress

One thing that the microfomats is strong at is a strong community
involvement and spreading the word (marketing). Their message and principles
are simple enough and easy to spread. That's what we could learn from and
what SWEO is now doing - to spread the word and to prepare simple messages
and good demonstrations.


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Received on Monday, 26 February 2007 02:37:52 UTC

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