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Re: Number, Date, Time, Quantity

From: Steven Pemberton <steven.pemberton@cwi.nl>
Date: Thu, 07 Sep 2006 12:09:43 +0200
To: "Lachlan Hunt" <lachlan.hunt@lachy.id.au>
Cc: "Peter Krantz" <peter.krantz@gmail.com>, www-html@w3.org
Message-ID: <op.tfh6ihfxsmjzpq@acer3010.lan>

On Thu, 07 Sep 2006 11:15:30 +0200, Lachlan Hunt  
<lachlan.hunt@lachy.id.au> wrote:

> Steven Pemberton wrote:
>>> It would be quite clear to a human reading that in an article of some  
>>> sort that Tony Blair is the Prime Minister without any additional  
>>> markup.
>>  How about if it was an article about the Dutch prime minister? Would  
>> it be clear to you then who it was?
> Let's see:
>    "The Prime Minister, Jan Peter Balkenende, will today travel to..."
> I think it's quite clear to a human reader that Jan is a Prime Minister.

You're missing the point. The text we are talking about doesn't contain  
the name of the prime minister, and we are not authorised to change the  
text. However we are authorised to add metadata. In this case, the  
metadata is the name of the prime minister. This makes the text more  
useful for several use cases.

>   It's not clear from that sentence which country he is from, but that  
> wasn't indicated in original example of Tony Blair either.  However, one  
> can assume the sentence would be in the context of an article that would  
> indicate such information, or the sentence could have been written more  
> like either of these:
>    "The Prime Minister of the Netherlands, Jan Peter Balkenende, will
>     today travel to..."
>    "The Dutch Prime Minister, Jan Peter Balkenende, will today travel
>     to..."

If you are authorised to change the text, you can do this (though many  
sources don't, for instance a quick search yieds this article  
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/politics/5322314.stm, that talks about  
Mr Brown,and the chancellor, but assumes you know they are the same); it  
also does not make the link between name and role explicit.

The advantage of machine-readable semantics are many. Searches become  
better for instance.

There are already semantic-oriented search engines, such as Clusty, but  
they often have to guess, and therefore can get it wrong (for instance a  
search for Pascal does split the result into programming  
language/philosopher etc, but the first search result for the philosopher  
is actually about the unit of pressure named after him; a search for prime  
minister does split the results into countries, but one of the results  
listed as being about Tony Blair is actually about Neville Chamberlain).

Best wishes,
Steven Pemberton
Received on Thursday, 7 September 2006 10:09:56 UTC

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