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Re: Email Message Definition?

From: Dan Brickley <danbri@google.com>
Date: Fri, 16 May 2014 20:23:02 +0100
Message-ID: <CAK-qy=6DFhoi-K=moxEA6K8GEnS1NT7=u_f=y5nfMpqwST-3WQ@mail.gmail.com>
To: Kingsley Idehen <kidehen@openlinksw.com>
Cc: W3C Web Schemas Task Force <public-vocabs@w3.org>
On 16 May 2014 19:32, Kingsley Idehen <kidehen@openlinksw.com> wrote:
> On 5/16/14 1:27 PM, Dan Brickley wrote:
> On 16 May 2014 17:59, Kingsley Idehen <kidehen@openlinksw.com> wrote:

>> Is this [1] the definition of an Email, or this just an error?
>
> "An email message."
>
> Short and sweet. Is there more that you think it should usefully say?
>
> At this stage we have not got into the business of representing mail
> headers, although that could turn out to be interesting.
>
> Dan
>
>
> But I am not seeing a single recognizable Email Message attribute, hence my
> question. Another route to my confusion is by using a CTRL+F (or Command F)
> sequence to search on the pattern: Email, there are only two hits:
>
> Thing > CreativeWork > EmailMessage
> An email message.
>
> The properties table doesn't have a single hit i.e., its basically describes
> a 'Creative Work' .
>
> Hoping this clarifies my concerns.

Ah, sure. In many classic modeling setups, it is a perfectly good rule
of thumb to say "don't create a subtype unless you have something new
to say!". And certainly some areas of schema.org do seem to go deeper
than was needed. But I think here we can be excused, as there are
other reasons that favour the addition of named types sometimes, even
without (initially) populating them with properties.

However, talking about EmailMessage: it is essentially a sibling to
accompany http://schema.org/WebPage and serves to indicate the
evolution of schema.org from being primarily about Web markup, to also
addressing markup-via-email, e.g. the recently announcement from
Bing/Cortana http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dn632191.aspx or
last year's gmail launch which used EmailMessage (and an early draft
of the Actions schema), e.g.
https://developers.google.com/gmail/actions/reference/one-click-action

In the case of EmailMessage it might make sense in future to go deeper
and model more email structure, but even having a simple type and no
properties can be useful. For another (google) use of schema.org named
types, googlecustomsearch.blogspot.co.uk/2014/03/create-search-engine-with-schemaorg.html
lets you create custom search engines keyed off of the type name.
Here's one I made to search the (small!) number of sites that use
http://schema.org/Volcano : http://danbri.org/2014/cse/volcano.html
... The current "make a custom search engine" UI has special case
support for concepts that are types (e.g. Volcano, ...), but not for
complex expressions using types alongside qualifying properties (Place
+ volcanicity=true ...).

For schema.org's uses, the fact that types get a nice simple syntax in
HTML makes them attractive, even if you could theoretically model
things better using a supertype + additional properties.

A final point: although schema.org might not yet define properties for
the EmailMessage type, it does provide an attachment point for others
to do exactly that. And if those properties were popular, we could go
ahead and reflect them into schema.org.

cheers,

Dan
Received on Friday, 16 May 2014 19:23:35 UTC

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