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Re: Proposal: make http://schema.org/Offer more friendly for non-commercial usage

From: Karen Coyle <kcoyle@kcoyle.net>
Date: Thu, 12 Sep 2013 08:07:48 -0700
Message-ID: <5231D8C4.1070408@kcoyle.net>
To: public-vocabs@w3.org

On 9/12/13 7:42 AM, Dan Scott wrote:
> On Thu, Sep 12, 2013 at 11:14:10PM +1000, Renato Iannella wrote:
>> Thanks for that Dan...some feedback...
>> "schema.org/Offer" include "rights", "service" and is probably missing
>> "product"....but I wonder if it is better to define Offer more on the
>> process rather than the list of things that can be offered. We seem to
>> use the generic "item" for anything...so perhaps a cleaner definition
>> could be: "To present an item for consideration".

We also batted around something using the term "exchange" - that would 
mean essentially "offer A in exchange for B". But that, too, had some 
problems for free goods and services, where there is no quid pro quo.

> Right. It took me a while to figure out why "item" seems to have special
> meaning in the schema.org docs, but I eventually realized that the usage
> of "item" is more generally tied to the semantic types being marked up
> (which explains the microdata itemtype / itemscope property names and
> the references to "item" in the RDFa spec, for example). For those
> coming to schema.org without that broader context, then, I'm concerned
> that "item" is going to strongly suggest material goods rather than the
> more inclusive products-and-services. (But perhaps that's based too much
> on my own thick-headedness!)

Well, we might be equally thick-headed, but "item" does feel like it has 
materiality that wouldn't cover services or other intangibles.

>> BTW, it would be good if schema.org allowed definitions to standalone,
>> and not force the "for example" text into the definitions (not good
>> 11179 ;-) and added a notes metadata attribute...
> I, too, admit to feeling a little discomfort about the heavy reliance on
> examples in the definitions. It might be interesting to put together an
> experimental draft that separates the inline examples from the
> definitions, at least for a subset of the vocabulary: I suspect that it
> would end up pushing us to strengthen the definitions in the long run.

Unless our definitions become highly Wittgensteinian, and therefore 
nearly incomprehensible, I don't think we can do without the examples in 
the definition text. We need a simple definition that can be understood 
by folks with a wide range of English language skills, and that means 
that those definitions will be ambiguous (in most cases) without 
examples in the definition. I suppose that we could break up the 
definition pre- and post-"such as", but I wouldn't want to see the 
definition displayed ever without that "such as" portion.

I think we all know that folks rely heavily on code examples (I'm a 
copy/paste/edit coder, myself) and more of those should be provided. 
Because the pages are often quite long for a single property or class, 
it might be useful to have a link from the top of the page to the 
examples (which would remind newcomers that there are examples on the 


Karen Coyle
kcoyle@kcoyle.net http://kcoyle.net
ph: 1-510-540-7596
m: 1-510-435-8234
skype: kcoylenet
Received on Thursday, 12 September 2013 15:08:16 UTC

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